NCSSM replaces boys' basketball coach Anthony Myles
The boys’ basketball program at N.C. School of Science and Mathematics has struggled for years to produce wins and needs fresh ideas, Unicorns athletics director Greg Jarvis said, announcing the departure of coach Anthony Myles.
Jarvis has replaced Myles with Derryl Britt, 1-19 during his only season as the Unicorns’ girls’ basketball coach last season, a post he’ll continue to hold as he takes on a dual-role this year.
The Unicorns were 6-15 under Myles last season and 5-18 the year before that.
“It was just that time for a change with the program,” Jarvis said. “It really wasn’t a win-loss issue.”
Myles, who said he served off and on for 21 years at NCSSM as both a head coach and an assistant coach, wanted the Unicorns to understand that the shakeup was not his idea.
“My only concern is I just don’t want the players, especially the seniors, to feel like I abandoned them as their coach,” Myles said. “I don’t want them to think that just because we had a losing record that I’m bailing out. If they can accept that, then I can move on.”
NCSSM, an academically elite boarding school for some of the state’s top junior and senior high school students, has been reclassified from 1-A to 2-A. Anticipating the arrival of some talented athletes, Jarvis said he saw in Britt a coach whose approach to the game would fit this year’s Unicorns.
The Unicorns will be looking to get up the floor in a hurry on offense and pressure the ball on defense, Britt said.
“We plan on putting them in some sets where they can kind of showcase their talent,” Britt said. “We’ve got a lot of kids who are raw, and, of course, having the type of kids we’ve got, their minds, they’re very absorbent. So you teach them something, it sets in. But now it’s trying to get them to actually apply it on the floor.”
Besides the two-year limit on player development, NCSSM coaches and players deal with more rigorous academic responsibilities than coaches and players at traditional high schools.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” Britt said. “We’ve got some good kids right now, and I’m just going to try to get the most out of this group, and we won’t even look to define that in wins and losses.”
So far, so good in practice, Britt said.
“They look good going against each other,” Britt said with a chuckle.
Britt, 45, is a teacher assistant at Granville Central High School in Stem. His daily commute to Durham doesn’t worry Jarvis, who said Britt was able to pull it off last season with the NCSSM girls.
Jarvis said Britt spent plenty of time on campus last season.
Britt said, “I’m there for the kids when they need me.".
This is the first high school boys’ head coaching gig for Britt, who studied at Norfolk State yet didn’t play basketball there, although he said he suited up in Honduras after playing travel ball in the U.S. Army.
Britt previously served as an assistant girls’ coach at Granville Central and Southern.
Seven area teams remain alive and headed into tonight’s third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association volleyball playoffs.
Most prominent among them is PAC-6 4-A champion Riverside (25-1), which hosts Cap Eight champion Broughton (18-2) at 6 p.m.
In the 3-A ranks, Cedar Ridge (22-7) and Chapel Hill (20-8) tied for second in the Big Eight 3-A Conference and take to the road today with Cedar Ridge in Erwin to face Triton (21-3) at 6:30 while Chapel Hill travels to 17-6 Topsail at 6 p.m.
Both remaining 2-A representatives are also on the road at 6 tonight, 19-6 Carrboro traveling to 24-1 Trinity Wheatmore and 23-5 South Granville visiting 16-2 Elizabeth City Northeastern.
A North Central 1-A Conference matchup is also on tap, with 18-7 Roxboro Community School, the league’s third-place finisher, visiting co-champion Voyager Academy (18-3) at 6 p.m.
— MARK DONOVAN