Sharman White is a legendary high school basketball coach in Georgia who has won seven state titles. Currently the head boys’ basketball coach at Pace Academy (Atlanta) after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Georgia State, White was named ALL-USA Coach of the Year in 2014 and National High School Association Coach of the Year in 2016. Now he’s agreed to give USA Today Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his team to his methods to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
As Independence Day marks a significant time in American history, it has become even more symbolic to me per my experience last month with USA Basketball.
I was once again afforded an experience of a lifetime by being selected to be a part of the USA Basketball U16 coaching staff. Thanks go to Jim Tooley, Sean Ford, Samson Kayode and Don Showalter for allowing me such an opportunity.
RELATED: Jalen Johnson commits to Duke
I was able to serve this great country of ours by being an assistant coach for the USA U16 team under the direction of Head Coach Mike Jones. Also, I had a chance to work with one of the top high school coaches in the country in Eric Flannery who was also an assistant of the staff.
This opportunity really epitomized “process.”
It began with the October training camp where we had over 40 of the top players from across the country for three days of intense skill work and competition. From there, we had another mini-camp in April during the Final 4 where more players were continued in the process of development and competition.
In May, the committee selected a group that would make up the pool of players from which the U16 team would be finalized. Our training camp was full of learning, energy and competitiveness and to be able to witness these young men competing for a spot on USA Basketball and to ultimately represent their country, was unmatched.
We could only choose twelve players, but I am under the impression that any of those young men would have diligently and proudly represented our country, as it was evident in how challenging it was as a staff to narrow down the list.
Once we selected the final team and conducted a few practices, it was on to Brazil where the weather was beautiful and it was not a better place to be for what we were there for which was to bring home the gold medal and the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 championship.
With an outstanding group of young men, coaching staff and support staff we accomplished our goal by defeating Canada in the gold medal game.
Feel free to go to www.usab.com to relive these young men’s “golden” run in Brazil as well as game recaps, pictures and stories within the game.
For me personally, I know quite a few people who serve our country via armed forces and to know that they risk their lives daily for my freedom makes this experience that more relevant for me. I once again had a chance to serve my country from the sidelines and there haven’t been too many other gratifying moments for me in the coaching arena than to have that gold medal placed around your neck and hear the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ being played.
“Championship teams TOTALLY and 100 percent invest in the coaching, the system and the mission.” #Golden #USA
Don’t forget to follow Coach Sharman White on Twitter: @CoachSWhite