695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
John Carroll assistant coach Craig Simmons is one of the top young coaches in the DMV. With a firm grasp of the X's and O's and the ability to teach the game, he is able to get results wherever he coaches. After guiding his Baltimore Starz 8th grade team to the Maryland AAU championship he answered a few questions for 695Hoops.com.
695: Where did you grow up?
Coach: I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. My family later moved to the Bronx, New York at age 14.
695: Did you play ball growing up?
Coach: Yes I did. I played AAU basketball in NYC for the Riverside Hawks and Gauchos. I played high school basketball at DeWitt Clinton in The Bronx where I parlayed my high school career into a D2 scholarship at Long Island University (C.W. Post). I played 1 year before moving with my family to Maryland. After the move, I played 1 season at Essex CC.
695: How did you get started coaching? Where have you coached?
Coach: I began coaching my son when he was 6 years old for the Joppatowne Rec in Harford County. I loved the game so much, this was my way of staying close to the game as well as giving back to the youth. I have coached at Joppatowne, Edgewood and Bel Air Recs and Travel. My AAU teams I have coached are, Harford County Dream Team, the Maryland Lady Jayhawks and currently for the Baltimore Starz and John Carroll.
695: What type of challenges do you face at John Carroll?
Coach: Here at JC, we face the geographical challenges in terms of reaching out to potential student athletes to possibly enroll and play at John Carroll. While there is talent in Harford County, the pool size to choose from is severely less than other schools either in the City or in Baltimore County. We are the only IAAM School in Harford County. It's a challenge, but one that I welcome.
695: What do you do to stay sharp and improve as a coach?
Coach: I stay in touch with virtual coaching. A tool used by many coaches to see what other successful coaches are doing for their teams in terms of practices and in-game managements. I also gain counsel from other local coaches that I respect. Lastly, I partake in yearly Coaching Clinics to learn other techniques and Drills to possibly incorporate into my high school as well as AAU program.
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