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Clary Judge & Cleveland Brown, Jr. - Coaches On and Off the Court
4/10/2013 3:44:13 PM
Last Updated:
4/11/2013 10:32:26 AM

Coach Cleveland Brown, Jr.(middle). Photo: Tolbert Smalls, Jr.

  For most coaches it’s all about winning.  There’s certainly a lot of possible ways they could be measured, but it usually comes down to wins and losses. The true measure of a coach, or anyone in a leadership role for that matter, is how they help those around them grow. That is the case for Carolina Team 843 AAU Basketball coaches Clary Judge & Cleveland Brown, Jr.

  In their second year with the team, they are focused on developing their players on and off the court. When they are not practicing or playing in tournament games, they help their players with homework and encourage them to get involved in activities that will have a positive impact on their futures. “We try to be father figures and role models for our players. Being a former athlete myself helps me understand what these kids are going through and what kind of attention they need,” Judge said. “When I was in school I was a pretty good player, but just an average student. I want them to be able to take their career to another level with a good education to go with that talent.”

   Brown, an assistant coach for the Girls Varsity Basketball team at Burke High School and Judge, a former basketball player for North Charleston High and South Carolina State University, met while students at SCSU. Brown was a musician at both Burke High and SCSU as well. Both graduated in 1999. Their love for basketball cemented a bond between them that lasted after their 2004 graduation and through working together at Sanders-Clyde Elementary three years ago.

   Coach Brown shares the same perspective as he deals with students everyday as a teacher at Burke High School. “Being a teacher, I know how vital it is to focus and give the same effort in the classroom as you do on the court. We have some very talented athletes on our team but I constantly remind them that part of their life won’t last forever,” Brown said. “Most professional athletes only play five to ten years give or take but your education will stay with you forever.”

   The pair’s commitment to their players goes beyond education and basketball. They have to transport their players to and from practice and sometimes have to utilize their personal funds just to participate in a tournament. “Funding for this team can be very difficult when you have to pay for tournament fees, hotels and food when we have to travel. AAU basketball is something that we are dedicated to so we aren’t complaining. It’s what we want to do,” said Judge. They are also committed to helping their young players learn the fundamentals of the game and improve their skill set. “It’s not all about us winning games. Of course I would love to win every game we play but it’s more important to me to see our kids take their game to another level and make something out of the hard work that we put it,” Brown said.

  When asked what he would be most proud of from this experience Judge replied “Just seeing my players succeed in life. I want them to understand that they have to give 100% to whatever they do in life to be successful.”

  The Carolina Team 843 Basketball team will compete in the Tournament of Roses this weekend at Claflin University and Orangeburg-Wilkonson High School. They will also compete in the Charlotte Basketball Club Tournament in Charlotte, NC April 26-28. If you would like to make a donation or be a sponsor for the team, call Coach Cleveland Brown at 843.814.4423 or Coach Clary Judge at 843.530.0019.



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