Category: Athlete Blogs

The Coach Sharman White Blog: Starting the season, holidays and more

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. 
Finally! Let the games begin!
November has arrived and so has the start of the basketball season as regular season games have commenced. For most teams preparation for this season began in the spring, continued through the summer and concluded in the fall.
Now, comes test time as staffs all over the country are installing old and new schemes, offense and defense, and still have to make time to work on free throws and late game situations. With all that being said, wins and losses are what moves the needle and triggers adjustments throughout the season that are ever-changing.
At Pace, the start of the regular season has presented our student-athletes the opportunity to face someone other than their teammates. We’ve gotten off to a solid start with a modest 4-game winning streak, but definitely understand that there is so much more work to be done to accomplish goals we set. Participating in great events such as Holiday HoopsGiving as well as Hoops 4 A Cure have given us quality competition to allow us to get an idea of where we are presently and what we need to work on while we progress.
The month of November brings in two of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are my favorite holidays because of what they express in terms of people.
Thanksgiving gives us all an opportunity to celebrate ‘Thankfulness’ for so many things. Family and friends tend to make the top of everyone’s list but for me, it goes a little further. I am thankful for being able to operate in my purpose as a coach and educator, having wonderful and caring teachers for my children at their school that push them to be their best and for a coaching staff that is committed to constantly developing our players on and off the court.
It is easy as a coach to take these things along with others for granted as you get into the hustle and bustle of trying to guide student-athletes and be successful at the same time, but Thanksgiving has always been a ‘timely’ reminder for these things and more.
As we press on towards the month of December, we get deep into our region schedule along with some major out-of-region contests against some stalwart competition in St.Pius, Holy Innocents, Woodward Academy, and my former school, Miller Grove in the first round of the Tournament Of Champions premiere Holiday Tournament.
Great opportunity to get ready for the stretch run of the season!
White’s Message: 
Players:
If you figured it all out today, what would be the point of tomorrow?
ENJOY ‘the process’ of being a work in progress.
GO KNIGHTS! #AllDayAllKnight
Don’t forget to follow Coach Sharman White on Twitter: @CoachSWhite

The Isaiah Stewart Blog: Visiting Duke, NBA Young Boy, style tips and more

Isaiah Stewart is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019 after dominating the competition with La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) during the high school season and City Rocks (N.Y.) during the summer circuit season. That kind of play has got everyone from Duke to Michigan State to Villanova, among many others in hot pursuit. Now Stewart has agreed to give USA TODAY Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
Isaiah Stewart here and I’m back to update you guys on what’s going on!
I know it’s been a while, but I’m here to let you know what’s been going on in Zay’s World!
I’ve been on a bunch of visits here lately that I want to tell you guys about.
The last visit I went on was to Michigan State and I had a ball there.
I got to hang out with the guys most of the visit and had a great time. I went to the football game and took in the atmosphere. It was just a visit where I got to really get a feel for what life would be like if I went there. I think the thing that stood out most is how close the players are. They really do hang out and do everything together. That was big because when it’s like that you know that you’re gonna have great chemistry that will lead to wins on the court.
The visit before that was to Syracuse and that was fun because it’s the hometown school. I got to meet with the guys and the coaching staff and they laid out the blueprint for me. They feel like I can be the special player that accomplish a lot of things like Carmelo Anthony did for them.
That’s big for me.
Before that visit was the Kentucky visit and that was a fun visit as well.
I got a chance to see the practice and the thing that stood out the most was how intense the guys were. I love that because I know they all just want to get better.
Coach Cal’s message was that I can come in and go to work. You just go with the opportunity there and if I work hard, hopefully, I’ll get a chance to leave achieve my dreams.
Duke is gonna be my last visit and that’s this weekend so I’m looking forward to that. I’m mostly looking forward to hanging out with the guys and just taking in what it would be like to go there.
I already have a great relationship with Coach K and the staff so I want to get the players’ take on everything.
I won’t be able to sign during the early period, but it’s all good. I can still commit. I’m not worried about not being able to sign. I would like to go ahead and make a commitment after the last visit, but it’s all about how I’m feeling and if I feel like I’m ready.
OK, right now I’m feeling really good about how my high school team is looking this season. We’ve just got a lot of talented guys that want to work and get better. We’re playing with a chip on shoulder this season and I’m excited about what we’ll be able to do.
Right now, we’re No. 6 in the USA Today Super 25 and I ain’t gonna lie that’s about five spots too low for us! We’re not stressing it; we’re just gonna work hard and prove it.
A few things I really want to work on individually is my finesse game. Everyone knows me for my strength and power, but I’ve added more to my game like going to the perimeter, facing up, putting the ball on the floor and all of that. That’s the way the game is being played now so I want to continue to polish that part of my game this season as I get ready for college.
School is going good for me right now too. I’m trying to finish up my first semester as strong a possible. My goal is to get three A’s and two B’s, but hopefully I’m gonna pull out all A’s.
OK, let’s get in to this music real quick; right now I’m listening to NBA YoungBoy. He’s the best out right now to me. That’s who I’m throwing on in the headphones before a game. Then I’m listening to Lil Baby, YG, Lil Uzi and I’m also listening to my boy Nahziah Carter. He plays for Washington and he’s actually Jay Z’s nephew, but he’s nice on the mic too.
He keeps it on the low, but he sends me his unreleased songs and they’re tough!
Of course I’m still listening to that reggae heavy too! Always.
I want to add in a little fashion tips in my blog too because I love to look good off the court. I’m always looking at different styles. I always like looking nice and presentable no matter what. I’d have to say my go-to look is a Nike suit with a fresh pair of Jordans.
Now if I’m trying to get dripped-up I’m gonna throw on some gold, put the earrings in, put some cut-up jeans on, nice pair or fly J’s or some Balenciaga’s! I can get dripped up a lil’ bit!
OK, guys I appreciate you checking out my latest blog and I’ll be back soon to let you know how the Duke visit went and what’s next for me.
Shoutout to you guys for keeping up with my blog!
Thanks again for tuning in with your boy Zay!
Don’t forget to follow Isaiah Stewart:
Twitter: @Dreamville_33
Instagram: the.isaiahstewart