John Marshall coach awarded Naismith Award; players get a surprise trip to Africa

The team went undefeated through the state championship for the 2022-23 season.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 6:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - John Marshall’s boys’ basketball head coach, Ty White, has received the Naismith High School boys coach of the year.

His family, co-workers and teammates all gathered Thursday at the school to watch him accept his plaque.

The team went undefeated through the state championship for the 2022-23 season, winning 28 games. Dennis Parker Jr., one of the players, has the highest number of points scored for a player in the area.

Many spoke highly of White, commenting on his strong faith, loyalty to his friends and family, and passion for his players and community.

There is no better coach, friend, AAU director in the entire United States,” said Coach Bettis.

One of the player’s father, Dennis Parker, shared something his son said about Coach White.

“He don’t say much, but when he talks, you better listen,” explained Parker.

White is said to be the type of coach who becomes family with his team, meaning bonds will stay past high school.

“If you run into any problems, trials and tribulations, which we all do as men, you can call him up,” said a speaker.

Coaching the boys’ basketball team for the last 13 years has taught White a lot, especially about leading young men.

“These gentlemen have just exemplified what a basketball team looks like on and off the court,” a speaker explained.

Now, as a reward for their hard work, both the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams are headed to Agnola, Africa.

“We are sending all of you to Angola this year,” said Justin Fairfax.

In Angola, the players will learn about the Tucker family of Virginia, who are believed to be descendants of the first Africans in America.

The Tucker family will escort the teams and coaches around. They’ll also get to learn native dances and even meet Angola’s president.

Not all of the details are completely ironed out yet, but their teams are set to leave for Angola in August.