WAYNESBORO – Sidney Diggs is already a part of Waynesboro’s boys basketball history, both as a player and an assistant coach.
Now he’ll get the chance to write a new chapter for the program as the Little Giants’ head coach.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Diggs, a 1981 Waynesboro graduate who was introduced as the new head coach Friday at a press conference at the high school. “Just coaching these kids, hoping to fill up the stands, and playing for the community. It’s great.”
Diggs, who played under former Waynesboro and Fort Defiance coach Larry Leonard, joined the program as a junior varsity coach in 2004, then was elevated to assistant varsity coach in 2008. It’s that track record that made Diggs the right choice to succeed C. Jay DeWitt, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 season..
“We had some good interviews [with other candidates],” said Derek McDaniel, Waynesboro’s athletic director, “but we had some thoughts in our mind when it all started. It’s always nice to give people who have been with your program opportunities. If you don’t do that, what’s the use of having people work hard for you and work their way up?”
“He works hard and he has a deep passion for basketball … and he has a good relationship with our kids,” McDaniel added. “When you have that kind of relationship, the kids work hard for you.”
The players he has been coaching were in attendance at Friday’s introduction, and Diggs gave them a little preview as to what he expects of them.
“I plan to bring them together and have them play an uptempo game and hard defense,” said Diggs, who played basketball at Oklahoma Panhandle State University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in mass communications.
“That means lots of running,” he added, drawing groans and laughter from the players. “I want to teach them how to be team players and respect each other.”
The Little Giants are losing several talented seniors from a team that went 19-8 and advanced to the second round of the Region 3A West tournament. Graduating are DeVante Robinson and Chris Baker, both All-City/County first-teamers, as well as City/County second-team pick Burke Bender, Steffan Thornton and Jah-Allah McCarthy.
However, Diggs has some talent to work with next season. Returning are current juniors Jadaciss Williams, Jaylen Simmons and Albert Brumfield, and sophomores DaJuan Moore and Zach Hatter, who was a second-team All-City/County selection.
“We have our guard play coming back, and we’ll have some big boys in the middle,” Diggs said. “If they get out there and play hard, I think they will be pretty successful.”