Vicksburg Junior High School head basketball coach Jerdon Hardiman led his team to become the greatest that the city of Vicksburg has seen in a while, leading him to be named the Vicksburg Daily News boy’s basketball Coach of the Year.
Hardiman led the Gators to a successful 18-1 season and an appearance in the Little Six Championship game. The Gators had some big victories along the way including beating Clinton and South Delta who were both undefeated until they played the Gators.
As he held his team to a high standard throughout the year, Hardiman never took it easy on his team at practice. Given the news about this award, Hardiman knew that his hard work was paying off.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized as boy’s basketball Coach of the Year,” he said in a statement to the Vicksburg Daily News. “I am graciously humbled by this prestigious award, and I would like to give credit to an incredible assistant coach, DeAndre King and a tremendously talented team of young men whose dedication and diligent work ethic allowed our team to finish the season with an outstanding record of 18-1.
“While this year has been successful for our team, it has been a challenging feat. I would like to thank Vicksburg High School’s head coach Kelvin Carter, the athletic director, Vicksburg-Warren School District and most importantly, my wife and family for all the tremendous support throughout the season. I recognize the importance of a strong support system, and I would like to extend recognition to the community and all the basketball fans who support our efforts.￼￼
“Growing up, basketball was a positive outlet for me both physically and emotionally. I learned many important lessons from playing the game. Among the most important was the inevitability of failure. I learned early on through the game that life is not about how many times you get knocked down, but about how many times you get back up. Basketball has always been a passion of mine, and I feel blessed and honored every day for the opportunity to not only coach but act as a role model and influencer in the lives of promising young athletes.
“I was a former assistant coach at Rolling Fork’s South Delta High, head coach at Warren Central and now as a head coach of the VJHS for the last four years, and I am more eager than ever to share my knowledge of the game with a goal of becoming next year’s champions.”
Vicksburg Junior High basketball has always had a big name around the state, and with Hardiman’s leadership, the Gators will continue to be successful on the court.