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.
With another high school basketball season in the books, it’s time to reflect some, evaluate the state of the program and move forward with plans and goals. For us, it was an early exit from the state tournament that in some instances can be viewed as disappointing, but with the right perspective it can be viewed as fuel for what’s ahead.
Knowing what it’s like to win your last is something that cannot be topped but as a competitor you have to also understand that at the end of every season, there can only be one left standing. Although our goal was not achieved, our players and coaches alike learned valuable lessons in the whole process.
Now, the work begins!
I’ve been coaching long enough to know that anytime you fall short of a goal, you learn the state of your program’s commitment to improving and being a better version of what was last seen. This is also a valuable life-teaching tool about resilience also known as “bounce-back.”
True competitors know that there is always a chance at not accomplishing the mission, but they also know that in order to make sure they do accomplish the mission the next time, it all evolves around the “in-between” season, which is what most see as the offseason.
I like to refer to it as the “in-between” season because it’s the time from when you finished the last thing to the time when you have another opportunity to accomplish the mission.
As May rolls in, I have had the privilege of being named once again as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball U16 team that will compete for a gold medal in the FIBA U16 Championships held in Brazil.
I never take the opportunities to work with USA Basketball for granted, as it is truly an honor to be able to serve our country from the sidelines.
I’ve said before and will continue to stand by it, USAB has one of if not the best basketball culture in the world and to be a part of it is something special. I also have had the fortune of speaking at the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Biloxi, Mississippi as it is in its last run.
This clinic, hosted by Ed Janka, has had a phenomenal 45-year run of helping coaches become better by allowing us to learn from truly some of the best coaches this nation has to offer.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to share what I know but also to be able to learn a wealth of information from some great coaches.
June will bring a great opportunity for teams to return to practicing and playing while trying to put the puzzle pieces together of what it will take for success to be found for the upcoming season. We are looking forward to hosting a shot clock summer league where we will experiment with the use a 30-second shot clock in hopes to demonstrate how it is needed and its value to the high school game.
We will also participate in team camps as well as the inaugural high school ‘live period’ as instituted by the NCAA where our players will be able to be evaluated by college coaches.
As you can see, we’re about close in on what Will Smith describes as “SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER TIME!”
White’s “In-Between” Season Message:
“Players/Teams: If you want to see progress in your game, you must be ready to make a biggerINcommitment.”
Don’t forget to follow Coach Sharman White on Twitter: @CoachSWhite