James Reaves has worked the last three years with former Greece Olympia basketball all-star Demond Stewart to build the Reaves Stewart Basketball Alliance program.
It is through this organization that Reaves launched himself into coaching high school basketball.
“Now, I’m hooked into it,” Reaves, 33, said.
Reaves, a Greece resident and Edison graduate, has his first varsity-level position.
University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men, located in the city of Rochester, hired Reaves this month to replace Raheem Miller, who coached the Griffins four seasons. Miller is looking at other opportunities in high school sports.
“He’s a basketball guy,” Miller said. “He played at Edison, went on to Division I and played professionally. He breathes basketball, it just makes sense.
“He gets the best out of kids, works them hard and is really dedicated. You have to go with a guy like that.”
Reaves coached the UPrep junior varsity the last two seasons.
“I love the game so much,” he said. “I know that it is a good match, because I’m a counselor at the school and they know my expectations on and off the court.”
Reaves was named to the Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Boys Basketball Team twice at Edison, including as the 2000 Player of the Year after his senior season. He was inducted into the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame 10 years ago.
“It’s just being able to adjust and adapt to different systems, people and situations, just like with kids,” Reaves said. “Every kid is different.
“It’s about putting kids in the best situations to succeed. You are judged on winning, but that’s not it, there’s a bigger picture. You want to help kids graduate and become leaders in the community.”
Reaves, after he graduated from Edison, went on to play at Niagara University and completed his college career with 1,274 points and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. The former all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player then played professionally for nine seasons with stops in Finland, Mexico, Germany, Venezuela and three leagues based in the United States, including time with the Rochester RazorSharks.
“I know he’s an outstanding person,” UPrep athletic director Dick Cerone said. “He’s ready, he’ll do very well.”