Thursday, June 28, 2012
Kilgore back in Holly Springs
By BARRY BURLESON
Sylvester Kilgore is returning to the community where he got his start.
The Holly Springs native and experienced basketball coach will take over leadership of the Lady Hawks.
“It was an opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of,” he said. “It’s the community where I was raised and I want to see the kids here do well. I’m glad to be here.”
Kilgore attended Holy Family School, Bishop Byrne High School (Memphis, Tenn.), Rust College and Ole Miss. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He played basketball and competed in track and cross country while at Rust from 1990-94.
He has coached at Longview Middle School (Memphis), Nanakuli (Hawaii), Mitchell (Memphis), H.W. Byers High School and Humes Middle School (Memphis).
Most of Kilgore’s experience has been coaching boys. But he has also coached girls basketball, plus track and cross country.
“Whether it’s girls or boys, it’s still basketball,” he said. “I’m big on fundamentals and playing hard – playing defense.”
He takes over a Holly High girls program that has struggled to get wins in recent years.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I expect 110 percent. As far as results, as long as the girls give me 110 percent and work hard, I can live with the results.
“I will push them to believe in themselves and have high expectations.”
Some players from last year’s squad return. Plus, junior high players will be stepping up to the varsity.
“We have 10 or 11 players right now (in the summer workouts), and I’m looking forward to going to battle with them,” Kilgore said.
“They’re learning me and learning my style of play.”
He also plans to have an open team tryout when school begins in August.
The summer league games and practices are going well.
“We’re improving and getting in better condition,” he said. “When we’re not playing games, we’re practicing at 7 a.m. That shows dedication – getting to the gym at 7 a.m. during the summer. It’s a dedicated group.”
The Lady Hawks are members of Region 1-3A. Last year the state championship game in 3A featured two teams from the district – Belmont and Ripley.
Other teams in the district are Booneville, Kossuth and Alcorn Central.
“North Mississippi basketball is tough,” Kilgore said. “Our division is very, very competitive.”
Kilgore’s daughter, Kourtney Coleman, was a standout basketball player for coach Jason Thompson at H.W. Byers. She is playing college basketball at Troy University in Troy, Ala.
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