December 5, 2012 in High School
Former NBA player Desmond Ferguson, who played at Lansing Everett and the University of Detroit, is now coaching at his old high school, trying to rejuvenate the program. After one game, so far so good — the team beat Williamston 65-55 in Ferguson’s coaching debut Tuesday. From the Lansing State Journal:
“We’re putting Everett back on the map,” said sophomore Devon Johnson. “We want to be that team that turned it around and put Everett up there with Sexton and Eastern.”
“It feels good to be back at my alma mater and to get this first win,” Ferguson said. “The guys have really been working hard and it paid off.”
I interviewed Ferguson for SLAM Magazine a few years ago about his experience playing for Everett:
“With Magic attending Everett and having so much success, others wanted to duplicate that type of success. Therefore, Everett became a basketball school where great basketball players from the city of Lansing wanted to attend. Naturally, Lansing is a basketball city and with the successful players that have attended Everett and played college and pro ball, I feel we are just products of the city of Lansing.
“My sophomore year, we started all sophomores and one freshman and we ended up 2-19 that season! Yeah, we lost a lot of games, but after that season, we worked harder and dedicated ourselves to becoming better basketball players. That same team ended up going 19-5 my senior year. More than anything, that process taught me about struggle, taught me about perseverance, determination and to never give up. And those are some of the qualities I carry with me as a man today. There is no success without struggle.
“That reputation [that Everett has] does the same thing that Magic did for my generation and generations before and after me … it provided hope. It sounds cliché, but it’s so true. So many young boys and girls fail to reach their dreams because they do not feel any sense of hope. When you have individuals that come from the same background, environment and communities as you, and they are successful, you tend to feel that you may be able to reach that same type of success as well.”