Basketball requires unity under the hoop and along the sidelines. International basketball player, Pooh Jeter, understands the need to win as a whole team, which includes the person holding the clipboard. Resurrecting the energy of diversity within coaching, Jeter is seeking more support for Black coaches by reenergizing the Black Coach Association (BCA).
Jeter spoke exclusively with the Los Angeles Sentinel, providing the play-by-play as he dissected the reasons athletes need to see their likeness in their coaches and the demand for the collective community to look out for each other.
Participating in the efforts to bring the BCA back is coach, Jason Hart, who recently made a colossal transition in his athletic leadership career. The University of Southern California athletic department shared their mixed feelings of sadness and joy, when learning of Hart’s changeover to head coach for the NBA G League’s Ignite.
Around the time of his transition, Hart made a statement on Twitter, “The NBA hiring of African-American coaches is changing the game! Relatability seems to be the narrative now!! I’m next!” Shortly after that tweet, he received the opportunity to be a part of an NBA division, as head coach.
Reflecting on the revival of the BCA, Jeter said, “One of the co-founders that we decided to do this with is Jason Hart. He’s now a coach for the G league’s Ignite team—and that was our whole issue because he hit me up, venting one time about how there are no Black coaches—head coaches in men’s basketball, in the Pac-12.”
“That was kind of weird,” Jeter said. He stressed the importance of support in recruiting coaches from the Black community. Jeter said, “That led to us having conversations about trademarking ‘Black Coaches Association’ and that turned into an amazing opportunity of hitting up other Black coaches that I know.” Jeter shared his vision of seeing Black coaches being uplifted within the sports industry.
As an athlete, Jeter has felt the spark and motivation coaches bring to the team. He found it important to make the BCA a priority, seeing the growth of this entity all the way through. With a committed team behind him, Jeter is confident that the BCA is back and here to stay.
The first pulse started with picking up the phone. Jeter explained that he made numerous calls, reaching out to influential people from his past in order to bring more athletic unity into the future.
Finding himself aligned with legends, Jeter acknowledged the titans of the first BCA. Through their efforts, Jeter has the undistinguishable fire to make the BCA feel like home for the collective community in sports.
Those who led the first BCA included John Thompson, John Chaney, George Raveling, and Nolan Richardson. In order to realign with the need for Black coaches, Jeter prompted himself to answer a critical question, “What do you we need to be doing to be prepared for the opportunities?” He began hunting for that answer last year.
“From then to now, we see in the NBA, they just hired seven Black coaches. It was from the lack of having six before, to now having 13,” Jeter continued, “Since we been having the movement and the association, a lot has been happening.” Jeter has put the key in the ignition, revving up the awareness of the imbalance in diverse coaches.
Some of the pillars that the renovated BCA will lean heavily on include cultural responsibility, honesty, education, trust, authentic relationships, and mentorship. This information was found on Slam Online. The BCA will fill every need to make Black coaches and athletes succeed in their careers.
Jeter has leaned in for many hurdles around the coach’s clipboard. Beginning with his career as the number two all-time scorer for the university basketball team, the Portland Pilots, in 2005, Jeter was named West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Weekin February of that year, after averaging 22.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds, leading the Pilots to victories over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. His statistics were made available on portlandpilots.com.
By 2006, Jeter’s career took shape in the NBA D-League with the Colorado 14er’s. In 2007, he laced up his sneakers overseas to play in Ukraine, Spain, China, and Israel. Coming back to the states, Jeter honored the Sacramento Kings with his talents.