Boys Basketball Columbia Eagles vs. Chapel Hill Hornets

After school on Monday through Thursday, you will discover a transition of roles happen-

-Lakisha Perez

ing in the gym at our Columbia Academy Elementary Middle School. You will find our Dean

of Student and Enrichment Programs, Mr. Stacy Stovall, taking on the role of Coach Stovall.

However, more importantly, you will discover eleven students ranging from 5th – 8th

grade transitioning into student athletes under Coach Stovall’s leadership.

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with Coach Stovall and his team and my

discovery during that time was truly the highlight of my entire week. This was a group of

young males, who like most students their age, were happy when they saw pizza, laughed,

and joked when they saw each other, and became more excited when they discovered that

there was not only pizza but dessert too. What enlightened me even more was that this

was a team that had players with different personalities and different levels of experience,

that truly understood what it meant to be a team and had pure joy in doing so.

Coach Stovall’s mantra is “How you do anything is how you do everything”. It’s clear from

those words that Coach Stovall is creating a foundation for his team that is shaping them

for success on and off the court. In addition, there is another mantra that you will hear

during practice and that is “All in”. Those words were adopted by Coach Stovall from the

Administrative Head of School, Mr. Jon Swider.

It is abundantly clear that Coach Stovall and his team are “ALL IN”. Coach Stovall and his

team will be making their debut on December 19th against Chapelgate Christian Academy

at 4 pm. To learn more about the team and gain more insight on Coach Stovall’s goals and

coaching core values, please see the interview below.

Christopher Dahunsi5th
Myles Gowan5th
Kai Khan5th
Blaise Haynes6th
Leopold Loveland7th
Lucas Leech 7th
Jordan Greene 7th
Tyson Hand 7th
Christopher Ramtahal7th
Tobi Abioye7th
Melvin Palmer 8th

Middle School Boys Basketball Team

Team Interview

What are you hoping to accomplish with your team?

Myles: Have fun and play a lot.

Chris: Play for fun.

What would you say is your most valuable contribution to the team?

Tobi: Be open for the pass to shoot.

Tyson: Be a team player. Score, but mostly a team player.

What does teamwork mean to you?

Kai: All in. We have to talk about it before we decide to do it.

Lucas: Everyone should be able to work together. We need to brainstorm to figure out what to do.

If you could only choose one word to describe Coach Stovall, what would that word be?

Leo: Active

Jordan: Hardworking, because he did a lot of hard work to make basketball happen.

Melvin: Leader, because he always helps us a lot and gives us stuff to learn.

Chris: Nice, he didn’t have to be there and gets us to try.

Coach Stovall’s Interview

What are your goals for the team?

Coach Stovall: My goals for this team are to understand what competition is and to build and develop skill.

My long-term goal is for the younger guys to become leaders by the time they are in 7th or 8th grade.

What advice do you give your players concerning the importance of balancing academics and


Coach Stovall: Scholar athletes. How you do anything is how you do everything. Academics will affect playing


Explain the importance of developing good sportsmanship in young athletes.

Coach Stovall: It helps them to learn to work with others and how to become good winners and losers. It

teaches them that iron sharpens iron and that you help your teammates get better as you get better.

What is your team teaching you?

Coach Stovall: Patience. A lot of patience.

As you know Columbia Academy is big on core values. What are your core values as a coach?

Coach Stovall:

Patience – Have to have patience working with young people to see their potential.

Urgency – We do not have time and talent to waste.

Resilience – Push through, understand the circumstance to coach through and stay focused.

Commitment – A sports team is a commitment to your team and yourself.

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