Coach passes values

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2007

OAKLAND, Calf. &8212; Terrence Ransom has lived much of his life around basketball. From the hardwood of Ohio, to playing ball at Demopolis High School, to college then pro circuits and beyond, his on-court presence has taken him all over the world.

After exchanging a uniform for a clipboard, Ransom continue his passion for the game, ending up at his present location, coaching an Oakland high school historically known for the talent that has emerged from its ranks.

While his development of the game begin in Ohio, Ransom said much of his playing and later coaching style was molded on the court in a Tiger jersey. He said the coaches that taught him during his formative high school days were crucial to what he has become both as a player, coach and a person.

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Ransom said he moved to Demopolis at the beginning of his sophomore year, though scouts from the north had already began eyeing him for his play in Ohio. &8220;I learned a lot form Joe Williams,&8221; said Ransom. &8220;He was strong in influencing and teaching me about the game.&8221;

Ransom also tipped his hat to coach Carl Harris, who told Ransom that according to his research he was the leading scorer ever to grace the court in a Tiger uniform. Finally, he said his senior year coach, Clarence Blackman, taught him discipline &8212; something Ransom uses today teaching young players about the game and life.

High school coach

After pursuing a career in basketball and then moving into the coaching ranks, Ransom found himself in a position to take over one of the historical breeding grounds for basketball talent, where he could utilize the skills he had learned from his early coaches.

Though the program had declined from the shining star it was during its heyday, Ransom took the job, going from college to high school two years ago, because of something that bothered him while coaching talent straight from high school.

After taking the job at Skyline High School, Ransom said he came into a situation where the discipline he learned from Blackman would be put to use. His players were not making grades, something Ransom set about remedying from the get go.

At first Ransom said the new team rule was not warmly received by players or parents, the later of the two Ransom said he was not used to dealing with from his previous coaching experience. As the first season moved forward and into this previous season of play, Ransom said the rule has gained popularity and adherence among his players. The current accumulative GPA of his varsity squad is 3.2 and 3.5 for his junior varsity group.

For his performance in his two-year span at the school Ransom was recently named Oakland Athletic League Coach of the Year and Co-Coach of the Year for NorCal.

From DHS to Oakland

After he graduated from DHS in 1985 Ransom faced a long journey to find himself in his current situation.

He left the high school and went to Gadsden State Community College to play ball, which lead to a scholarship to Oregon for his last two years of college. At Oregon Ransom turned the heads of pro scouts, and, while he didn&8217;t go in the draft, Ransom was signed as a free agent to the Golden State Warriors.

He said the year he was signed the team also picked up the No. 1 draft pick, who also happened to be a guard, so he was cut from the team during the preseason. He then jumped the pond and was picked up by a team in the European league, where he bounced around for several years, living in quite a few countries.

Ransom received a second chance to make it into the NBA with the Phoenix Suns but a knee injury ended the dream and sent him into coaching. He grabbed an assistant coaching position at the junior college level in 1992. He would bounce around various junior college programs moving up in the ranks for 13 years, before the call of division one and the position at Skyline were presented.

Ransom chose Skyline over the move to the higher division because of his desire to positively influence young players in their formative years, much as his early coaches influenced him in his.