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Wade secures 100th win at helm of program

February 23, 2015

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

Frank Sinatra’s song ‘Love and Marriage’ sums up Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball coach Kenny Wade’s stint at the junior college perfectly.

“You can’t have one without the other,” the song says, and Wade said he wouldn’t have personal success without his players.On Sunday afternoon against Tidewater Community College, Jashad Jamison, Jalen Thomas-Harrison and Paris Jamison all scored in double figures and the Patriots pulled away for an 81-66 victory – Wade’s 100th at the helm of the PHCC men’s basketball program.Wade is a coach who will give his players all the credit before his personal achievements, and as the Patriots (15-9, 12-6 Region X) drive toward the postseason, none of his accolades would be possible, he said, without great players.“A lot of times when I reach some type of milestone it usually goes hand in hand with a player. The year that Ed Jenkins won the region player of the year (2011-12), I was the coach of the year at the same time,” Wade said. “This year, it was my 100th win.“It’s more (the players) than it is mine,” he added on the merit of the achievement. “Without the players and coaching staff that I’ve had over the years we definitely wouldn’t be talking about this. Me personally, I don’t ever want to take the credit for the wins, it’s all the players.”Wade said this season has reminded him of PHCC’s Region X tournament run a few years ago. That Patriots squad lost in the tournament final and had a talented group of sophomores.The ability of his sophomore class to help bring along the current freshman has been a big help, Wade said.Sophomore guard Josh Beck said that by having a season to grasp his coach’s system and buy into his philosophy, the wins started to mount. The progression the team has shown not only over the course of this season but the last two is one of the many reasons Wade enjoys doing what he does.“Coaching in junior college can be a big adjustment because once you get a player straightened out you have to let them go and start over again,” he said. “If you’re not ready or don’t have the patience for it, it can wear thin on a person. You have to take the time and mentor these young men.”Tossing out the egos from those coming in who were often top players on their respective high school teams is one of the biggest challenges Wade faces each season, he said. Blending personalities and developing team chemistry can be a constant struggle. Again, that’s when he leans on his sophomores to set a tone.“I think a key for our team is the selflessness of us all,” Beck said. “We have nine or 10 guys that can go for double digits or have a career night on any night. We share the ball and play together and it’s always about the team first and the player second.”That selfless mentality comes directly from the head coach. It was that one characteristic that Chris Parker, who at the time was PHCC’s athletic director, saw in Wade and why he felt he would be the right hire once current Richard Bland coach Chuck Moore left PHCC.“I hired coach Wade in 2009 not only because of his outstanding basketball knowledge, but because he is a selfless person that cares about each of his players as if they were his own family,” Parker said. “I congratulate coach Wade on this accomplishment and I am truly glad that he is a PHCC Patriot.”Over more than half decade at the helm of the PHCC men’s basketball program, Wade’s ability to recruit nationally, and more recently internationally, has increased the program’s appeal. Winning doesn’t hurt, but sophomore guard Daniel Ginsberg said the coach’s understanding of bringing in talent from outside the region helps increase the competition within the team as well as providing quality depth. Each player, he said, feels part of something special, and having a coach who encourages them only adds to team’s connectivity.“Everyone here has a different story and it’s nice to feel a part of coach’s 100th win,” Ginsberg said. “Everyone here he gave a chance on and lot of JUCO (Junior College) players look at this as a second option. He stuck his neck out for each one of us to give us a chance to play college basketball.”It’s not just the players’ lives that Wade has affected since he’s been part of the PHCC community. Current athletic director and women’s basketball coach Brian Henderson said Wade was one of the first people to make him feel welcome and helped him adjust to college coaching.Henderson added that Wade has taught him many valuable aspects of college coaching. The woman’s head coach said he wouldn’t be as successful if it weren’t for Wade, and that 100 wins is testament to his consistency and longevity.As for when Wade said he will be able to enjoy his milestone, probably not for a while.“Maybe after the season is over with I might stop and reflect on it,” he said. “For most coaches I think it’s after your career is over when you sit back and reflect about things. You think about the teams and players that you had and the things they went on to do in their life.”Wade and the Patriots return to the court on Wednesday at Catawba Valley Community College.

 

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Filed under: Men's Basketball

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