Newly-introduced boys basketball coach Brandon Beasley gives an outlook after taking the reins at Hobbton.
NEWTON GROVE — With the graduation of nine seniors, Hobbton boys' basketball invites a fresh, yet familiar face to lead the program in 2021-22.
Benson native Brandon Beasley is set to step into his first head coaching position after guiding the junior varsity program the last two seasons. He'll replace Jeff Lane, who went 10-24 in two years at the helm and helped the Wildcats win three of their final four contests each season.
"The basketball culture at Hobbton is rich," said Beasley. "I've been able to learn from some of the school's past greats like Kenny Bass and Coach Lane."
The 27-year-old South Johnston alum says his experiences with various coaches and standout players in the local area, combined with a desire to watch film and attend clinics have prepared him for the first-year challenges that could be ahead.
Beasley added that he is fortunate to know the skillsets of a young crop of talent who will now be the face of Hobbton basketball after learning from him as JV players.
Rising junior Colby Weeks and soon-to-be sophomore Josiah McLauren are the team's key returners. Weeks led the Wildcats with 10.8 points and 2.2 steals per game, while McLauren averaged just under seven points and was second to only Weeks on the team in steals per contest.
"They are complete leaders that take responsibility .. they're truly an example of what we want Hobbton basketball players to be," Beasley said of the duo.
Helping round out the roster will be key contributors to last year's JV squad in Riley Brewington, Alex Devone and Jaquan Chancy
Beasley contends each player is expected to give good minutes and will be up to the challenges that arise with inexperienced teams.
"I'm very positive and optimistic with where we'll be come the end of the season," he said.
Hobbton is still searching for its first postseason appearance since the 2016-17 campaign.
To achieve that feat, Beasley says the group has to have a supreme belief in his defensive-minded system.
He noted how intense summer workouts have been to this point, producing "a lot of excitement" amongst a unit looking to build chemistry and establish an identity.
"This team is the embodiment of toughness ... even though we don't necessarily get the respect of bigger schools," Beasley said.
"Toughness, work ethic and family. That's what we're going to be about."
Donnell Coley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-230-2040.