WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After winning a second straight state championship, the Gray Collegiate War Eagles are adding another useful resource to their coaching staff as they prepare to defend their title.
Former South Carolina guard Brandon Wallace was hired by the War Eagles as an assistant coach. Wallace last played for the Gamecocks in 2007 before joining the Boston Celtics. He later played professionally in Europe.
“He has a lot of experience and he can relate to the kids,” War Eagles head coach Dion Bethea said. “When you talk about relationships with kids, it’s all about the experience and you having an understanding of where they’re coming from, too.”
Wallace returns to the War Eagles’ staff for the second time. He worked with the Gray Collegiate squad during the 2017-18 season, which saw GCA take home their first state title. Now, Wallace returns to the bench as an assistant on a full-time basis.
“Dion called me up,” Wallace recalled. “I was in Augusta at the time. He called me up to come up and check out his guys and I just started hanging around. But I just really like helping the young kids. Just seeing them get those opportunities and taking advantage of it was real satisfying.”
One thing that has been the most satisfying for Wallace is being able to help the players. He hopes to be able to impart wisdom they can use both on and off the court.
“Mainly discipline yourself to do the correct things,” said Wallace when asked what he wants players to take away from him. “No matter what the outcome may be for you, as long as it’s right, you’ll have success in the long run, I think. Just keep waking up doing those same things that are the key to success, key to your growth, key to your development, and it will work out for you. Sometimes, at the end of the tunnel, you can’t see the light, but if you just wake up and continue to do the right things every day, it works out.”
Gray Collegiate will take aim at a third consecutive state championship this season. The 2019-20 season officially starts for SC High School League teams on December 2.