Levon Grant has taken over as the new head coach of the boys' varsity basketball program at Warren County High School.
The 29-year-old Coach Grant recently accepted the job after having served as an assistant boys' basketball coach at Glynn Academy in Brunswick for a year. He previously served in the same capacity for three years at Sumter High School in Americus.
"I'm extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to coach basketball at Warren County High School," said Coach Grant during an interview on Monday. "I'm real excited."
Coach Grant is a native of Florida, having graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he played basketball with the New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter. Carter was a senior at the time, while Grant was a freshman. The 6-6 Carter helped the team to a state championship during the 1995 season.
When his time came to be a starter, he played point guard and excelled at the all-important position.
After graduating from high school, Grant was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at Daytona Beach Community College for two years before transferring to Division II Georgia Southwest State University in Americus.
Grant said he aspired to become a prep basketball coach after graduating from college with a degree in health and physical education. He is the only college-educated member of his family on either side.
"I wanted to coach basketball, because of what I learned from two very good basketball coaches, Frank Burnell and Robert Cotton," said Coach Grant. "They taught me a lot about the game. They were both mentors to me."
Coach Grant also has strong spiritual beliefs, which he incorporates into coaching.
"God is a big part of my life," said Coach Grant. "I think of God as being the real head coach of the team and that I'm his assistant coach."
Coach Grant said he's already worked with Warren County's players in a summer program, which just wrapped up.
"We've got a lot of young players on the team, but I really think we can become a very competitive basketball team by the time the season starts," said Coach Grant, the son of James and Sheryl Johnson of Hinesville. "I want everyone of them to know that we're all in this thing together. We'll win together and sometimes, we'll lose together. We're going to have to learn to face adversities in the game, just as we do in life and get past them, somehow."
Since coming to WCHS, Coach Grant praised the help that he has received from Richard Arrington, who is retiring soon from his role as the school's longtime athletic director.
He now will take the month of July off to serve as an assistant basketball coach for a summer clinic at Florida State University in Tallahassee. At FSU, Coach Grant will be involved in helping teach three classes of young basketball players daily.