Sharber completes unique season as assistant coach
BALDWIN — Ira Sharber returned to the coaching ranks this season for Baldwin and was able to witness many unique experiences as an assistant for the boys basketball team.
Sharber is a 1967 Baldwin graduate who coached boys and girls basketball for 20 years. He coached standouts such as Reggie Fox, who would later play NCAA Division I basketball at Wyoming. He also coached Durand Watkins, who had the all-time scoring record that senior Brandon Childress broke two weeks ago.
Sharber also had the experience of coaching Chidress as a senior.
“Brandon’s a little better all-around player,” Sharber said. “Durand was a great, great shooter. He was a great player. Brandon might be a hair better all-around. He might be the best all-around player to be here and I’ve been here a long time.”
Sharber, 67, now lives in Muskegon, but returned to Baldwin to coach for the 2014-15 season. He hasn’t coached for about 15 years.
“This has been great,” he said. “It’s a different brand of kid. These guys have been great to me. I’ve helped them some but they’ve helped me more than I’ve helped them.”
Sharber joined the staff of one of his former players, Kevin Dillard, when Dillard was hired during the preseason in November.
“We’ve been (teaching) them how to play together and be able to come together finally as a team,” he said. “That would be my main thing. I’ve coached at Grand Valley for three years as an assistant for Tom Villemure. I’ve been (teaching) them little things about the game and little things like taking a charge, about boxing out, about giving up a great shot to get a better shot, and passing the basketball. It’s not me-me-me. It’s team-team-team.”
Sharber and the Panthers finished the season at 19-5 with a 59-49 loss to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart in the regional semifinals. They were West Michigan D League and Class D district champs.