New faces bring hope to Milton basketball

Parker Gillam, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

There have been a lot of changes within the Milton Basketball Program in the past couple of months as former Etowah Head Coach Allen Whitehart has assumed the title of  head varsity basketball coach along with an almost entirely new staff. Coach Whitehart guided the Eagles to a 20-10 record last season resulting in  a Region Championship and a Sweet 16 appearance in the AAAAAAA State Tournament. He also had a plethora of success at Buford and Centennial High School where he led those schools to multiple Region and State Championship Games, and was recognized as the Georgia AAAAA Coach of the Year with Centennial and Georgia AAA Coach of the Year with Buford in 2011.

Coach Whitehart runs the program like a college team, with an increased emphasis on developing players physically and mentally, but has also given his players rewards such as new uniforms and shoes. He places a high priority on defense. Milton consistently gave up 70, 80, sometimes even 90 points a game last season, while his Etowah squad allowed opponents to score 40-50 points per game usually.

Brent Washburn, Kevin Salvadori and Ken Lewis have been announced as the new varsity assistant coaches, while Adam Gibbs has been recently hired as the Junior Varsity head coach. The workload in the program has increased a lot with a full month of summer workouts and tournaments occurring in June, a new basketball weight lifting class, and workouts starting in early September. Coach Whitehart places a larger focus on getting the Junior Eagles Feeder programs more involved so the next generation of players can be well trained upon their arrival. There are many visual improvements as well within the program with the previously mentioned new uniforms, a nicer and cleaner locker room or “Team Room”, and some new and creative fundraising ideas.

Sophomores Parker Jackson and Naren Matcha both have noticed the positive changes stating that the coaches “give off a positive and encouraging vibe,” and that they have “installed a new work ethic to the basketball program as a whole.” The lone mainstay from the previous coaching staff, 9th grade Head Coach Patrick Long, also applauded the new staff for “getting the community excitement for Milton Basketball back to where it should be.” Overall, Coach Whitehart has appeared to bring a new work ethic and energy to the Milton Basketball Program and seems to have the players and coaching staff alike more focused for this upcoming season.