Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The staff for the Green Wave boys’ basketball program is a diverse and intriguing bunch.
A glance at the resumes for Gregg Elliott’s assistant coaches reveals one is from Africa, another is from Canada and another is from Ohio.
A variety of things brought them to Summerville but basketball brought them together, and when they meet basketball is what they spend most of their time discussing. However when the shoptalk is done a group with their backgrounds certainly doesn’t have any trouble finding something interesting to discuss.
“We have good commorodarie,” Elliott said. “Between us we have some great stories. I have a great group of coaches and enjoy being around them.”
Several members of the staff played in college and one coached at Michael Jordan’s high school. Some of them spend much of their time away from the court in a classroom but one spends a lot of his time in a courtroom.
Upon arriving at SHS five years ago, Elliott’s first staff recruits were Orlando Britton, Ian Lenke and Matt Legare. Britton and Lenke are still on the staff while Legare later took the job as the head coach for the Summerville girls’ team.
Elliott knew Britton because they are both from Georgetown and Elliott coached against Britton, who after high school played for Shaw University.
Lenke, who came to Summerville by way of Ohio, was named the head coach for the Green Wave JV Boys when Legare vacated the position to coach the varsity girls.
In his second year at SHS, Elliott added Gregg Middle School teacher Mark Meyer and retired part-time Summerville resident Gordon Ross to the staff.
“For half of the year Gordon lives in Canada and the other half he lives in my neighborhood,” Elliott said. “We met at a neighborhood cookout. He used to coach in Canada so we got to talking and he offered to help out.”
The next year Naval “JAG” Officer Tom Laderach joined the staff and the year after that teacher David Long joined.
Long moved to Summerville from North Carolina where he coached at Emsley A. Laney High School, the place where Michael Jordan’s legendary career was launched. Long played basketball at Augusta State College and is also the head coach for the SHS tennis program.
For this season, Elliott added Diarra Konimba to the staff. He is a former member of the African National Team who also played post for College of Charleston.
Elliott says having such a large and diverse group of assistants is a big plus for his program.
“They divvy up all the duties which leaves me free to just coach the team,” he said. “I don’t have to do much of the administrative stuff. I think in ways the players relate to my assistants better than they do to me. Plus those guys just do a lot of things that make my job easier.
“I’m lucky to have them.”