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.
What began in July is now near the end as the regular season has ended and the postseason has arrived. The postseason for high school basketball is a special time of the year as teams jockey to be a part of the tournament that will determine the champion.
Similarly to the NCAA Tournament, you have an awesome blend of surprises, upsets and domination. Teams and players make their mark on the post season that will last a lifetime. For high school players, coaches and fans, it’s no better time of the year.
Our regular season ended on a positive note with a modest four-game winning streak going into the region tournament where we would have to earn our bid to the state tournament. We secured that tournament birth and went on to compete for the region championship.
After a gallant effort by our guys, we fell short in overtime and thus secured a No. 2 seed for the upcoming state tournament.
We open up with a talented Hart County team which have been ranked in the top ten all season long. A tough draw but one we gladly take as participants in the state tournament.
After a long regular season, the key at this point of the season for teams is to hit the ‘reset’ button as they prepare for the most exciting part of the season. We try to have our guys focus on the things that got us to this point and use all of the hard work including practices, extra work, off-season conditioning and any adversity encountered during the season as fuel to push you during the post season. As for coaches, attention to detail and preparation take center stage.
I always advise younger coaches and coaches alike who may be coaching in their first tournament or 25th tournament that “Being an ‘underdog’ team is OK,” but being an ‘under-prepared’ team isn’t.”
Personally, going into another state tournament, the rush of having to win the next game is even greater than the first tournament I coached in. I understand after doing this for a while that you must cherish the opportunities like this no matter what chances you have at winning it all because getting back there is not guaranteed regardless of what you may think.
Players, coaches and teams that have earned the right to extend their season, don’t take the opportunity for granted and leave it ALL out there because these are the memories you will cherish the most!
Good luck and GO KNIGHTS!!!
White’s Postseason Message:
Players/Teams: If you’re not willing to give up EVERYTHING … You’ve already lost.
Don’t forget to follow Coach Sharman White on Twitter: @CoachSWhite