695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
South River's head coach Mike Zivic just completed his fifth season at the Anne Arundel county school. He's kept the team at the top half of the standings and he talked to 695Hoops about his program and girls basketball in general.
695: Where did you grow up?
Coach: I was born in Pittsburgh and lived there the first 21 years of my life until I accepted a teaching job at South River 10 years ago.
695: Did you play sports?
Coach: I played basketball and ran track.
695: How did you get into coaching?
Coach: I always liked the x and o’s, use to make suggestions to my coach while playing so when I turned 21 I became the jv boys coach at my alma mater.
695: Tell me about your coaching career...
Coach: Began coaching boys at my alma mater for a year, then moved and was an assistant for the South River boys for three years, then a position opened up and was asked to take it to help out the girls coach. Was the Jv coach for 2 years and then took over the program and was the head coach for the last 5 years.
695: What do you think about the overall direction of girls ball in this area?
Coach: I think the talent in this area is unbelievable. The amount of scholarships earned keeps growing every year. I think if anything the area is under recruited. I watch some great talents that don’t receive any D1 or D2 offers that definitely could play. The only thing I would like to see is better fundamentals.
695: I agree. I'd like to see more girls get deals from around here. Who was your favorite player growing up?
Coach: I always liked Jordan because he was a winner. His will to win was unreal. By far the best player I have ever seen playing.
695: What else do you do besides coach?
Coach: Not much, go to clinics, out in the gym watching my kids during the AAU season. Just had my first kid so I’m sure I’ll have a few other things to keep me occupied.
695: Congrats on the baby. Talk about this past season a little bit...
695: Thanks. It was a great year,we played our toughest schedule to date. We won the Fallston Christmas tournament. Played in the Beast of the East and beat a very good Western Branch team. We won 21 games,the most since I’ve been at the school. The end was a little bittersweet with my seniors not getting a chance to show their game at the RAC.
695: What challenges do you face at South River?
Coach : I really don’t have many challenges to be honest. We probably have the highest GPA of any sports team at our school. So grades aren’t a problem. We have great athletes. I have a few players that will sign for basketball and I have a couple that have already signed or will sign for lacrosse. I have very supportive parents that are willing to help. The only challenge I had last year was limited size. I got some very talented big coming up in the next few years.
695: Who is on your staff with you?
Coach: I have been very fortunate to have very little turnover. My JV coach Leo Cromartie has been with me since I became the head coach. He is one of the great teachers of the game and has had enormous success losing three games in the last three years. My assistant Tim Williams has been with me for 4 years and is a great coach to bounce things off of in the game. Bill Banchero has been an assistant for the last 8 years in the program. He really works the defensive side of the ball. My last coach Kevin Wright who is leaving for Florida (because of his job) is just a great basketball mind and understands the game.
695: What was the last good concert you went to?
Coach: Last year I went to Atlantic City to see Dave Matthews.
695: What are your goals for next season?
Coach: To finish the season. We have lost in the regional finals the last two years and need to get over that hump.
695: Thanks and good luck
Coach: Thanks Coach.
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