695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
695 went one on one with Coach C.J.Scott who is in his first year with the charter school Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences. As the vice president of the Baltimore Starz AAU program he has been busy building two programs. We discussed a few things recently.
695: Tell me about your playing career
Coach: I played 3 years at the prestigous Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. I walked on at Morgan State my Sophmore year but I didn't get past the clearing house. I was having too much fun in school. It was a learning experience that I use to help younger players learn from my mistake. After that, I focused on my academics.
695: Tell me about your coaching career...
Coach: I started coaching boys in Philadelphia at the pal center. Next, I started coaching boys Moravia Park Middle School. I started a girls team there and have been coaching there since. I won two Baltimore City Public School Girls Middle School Championships with my core group of girls that I started my 14U AAU team with. I started coaching with the Starz three years ago through Cornelius Scott and Al Schell and haven't looked back. I'm looking forward to my first year in high school.
695: Who is the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy and style?
Coach: I always was a good defender so I loved defensive coaches. As much as I hate Duke, I picked up coach K defensive philosophy. Offensively, I adapt to my personel but I love the read and react offense so Rick Torbet. Also, John Chaney and Larry Brown.
695: What do you do to stay sharp and improve your coaching skills?
Coach: First, I'm a gym rat. I'm in every gym in the area stealing new ideas from other coaches. I also attend coaches clinics and spend hours watching tape.
695: This will be your first year at MATHS. Talk about the school in general and then some goals for the basketball program...
Coach: The school is a Charter school in it's fifth year. This will be the first year they have a girls team. One of my Baltimore Starz girls, Traonna Thomas attended there last year and said they didn't have a team so I decided we would build it together and I applied for the job. As fate would have it, her family moved. My goal is to be a power house school. It will take a lot of hard work but thats up my alley it's all I know. I want to send my girls to college with scholarships and eventually win State Championships.
695: What challenges do you think you will face with the program?
Coach: The biggest thing will be to gain the respect of the other schools in the area. Charter schools are relatively new and don't garner much respect in the state. However, with the emergence of programs like MATHS and Coppin Academy I'm hoping that can change.
695: How do you feel about the direction of girls basketball in general?
Coach: I feel that girls basketball will be the next sport to make a major jump due to the up and coming young talent at all levels. You have girls like Maya Moore and Britney Griner in college. Others like Elexus Henderson, Jannah Tucker, and Amber Singleterry in high school. Also, Kahla Hedgepeth and Kobie Green in middle school give just the state of Maryland a deep talent pool. It gets even crazier when you hit the road.
695: You're the vice president of the Starz. How do you manage the parents and their expectations of what AAU will do for their kids?
Coach: Luckily, I have had a great experience with my parents. I do let my parents know where their daughters stand. If you work hard and improve you will get the court time. It all about putting in the work.
695: You coached two different age groups last year. How were you able to manage that?
Coach: I had great assistant coaches and a great group of girls. I would have them practice together once a week and each have one separate practice. It also helped that they started out as one team and were split the following year.
695: I know you like to focus on player development. Do you think there are too many games and not enough gym time?
695: It's enough gym time if you you put in the time. I'm always in a gym. I work at a school and my principal gives me all the access I need at my middle school. Shout out to Mrs. Brooks! I do love player development and I bring in girls from all schools and all organizations to workout. Stop past the gym and you see boys and girls from all over at Moravia Park. So you gotta make gym time. I'm excited just talking about the gym!
695: Coach Stretch is on your staff at MATHS. What does he bring to the table?
Coach: Stretch is known through the city of Baltimore for basketball dating back to when he played at Dunbar. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to the game of basketball. Stretch is like me when he's in the gym he's at home. He's been there before with coach Graham at with the Cougars, Western, and Morgan. I always want somebody who is going to be willing to challenge me and not just fall in line with whats going on and he definitely falls into that category.
695: I heard your demo tape.It's pretty good. Are you retired or can we get our own freestyle cypher going on?
Coach: (laughing) I still got some bars. Let me know when you ready to hit the studio. I'm laughing because me and Tracey (Carrington) are always freestyling on road trips.
695: She has trouble staying on beat but I did ghost write some lyrics for her.
(Both of us laughing.)
695: Who do you like to win it in the NBA and please do not say the 76ers. It's tough for us Philly fans right now.
695: Since I can't say the Sixers, I'll go with the Celtics. Just can't see them losing with that group if they're healthy but the Lakers are neck and neck with them.
695: Good stuff. Thanks and good luck this season.
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