New PRC basketball coach explains that life lessons can transfer to sports

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2016

Coach Scott Stephens emphasizes the importance of resilience to each of his players.

Coach Scott Stephens emphasizes the importance of resilience to each of his players.

The new men’s head basketball coach for Pearl River Central, Scott Stephens, credits a life-changing event when he was a teen for his success both on and off the court.

Stephens’ passion for basketball started in his hometown of Jackson, where he said he was around the game since he was born.

“My father would always keep a basketball in my crib when I was an infant. In a way, the game came to me and I have loved it ever since,” said Stephens.

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His passion for basketball grew as he got older, said Stephens, and it soon became the one thing he was best at.

Stephens graduated from Madison Central High School and brought his athletic talents to Holmes Community College for two years, playing as a shooting guard. After his time at Holmes Community College, Stephens said he decided to hang up his shoes and go to USM to get his degree, graduating in 2007.

“It’s never an easy thing for an athlete to do when it comes to the end of their playing career, but I knew I wanted to remain around the sport and the only way that could happen is if I became a coach,” said Stephens.

After graduating from USM, he decided to go back to Madison Central to take the assistant coach position for the men’s varsity basketball team where he stayed for four years. After that, Stephens said he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a head coach, landing him at Picayune Memorial High School for the previous four years before joining the Blue Devils.

In high school, Stephens went through a rough patch that changed his life forever. Stephens’ grandfather passed away during the basketball season of 2001 and weeks later, his father, Kenny, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“After that season, my outlook on life changed completely. I knew that there are a lot of things you can’t control in life, but as long as you do the best you can every day, things will fall into place,” said Scott Stephens.

The fight that Scott Stephens saw in his father inspires him while coaching.

“I saw a lot of fight in my father. I saw him struggle but he never gave up, and that fight helps me when I am coaching. It opened my eyes to stay positive with things and keep pushing because if you do that, things will work out,” said Scott Stephens. “I’m sure there are times in anyone’s life where you just want to throw in the towel, but if you keep pushing through, great things will happen.”