Saturday 21 September 2019
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Patrick Newman: Taking His Love of Basketball and “Paying it Forward”

Story by Cindy Burbage
Photos by Sheila Scott
An abundance of families in the Pooler area leap at the sporting opportunities presented
by the Pooler Recreation Department. The organization takes great pride in their
dedicated volunteers and coaches; these ingredients are the perfect recipe for this small-
town staple. Many coaches get their start with simply enlisting to help on their child’s
team and then continue to coach for seasons afterwards. Pooler resident, Patrick
Newman, is no exception. With his devotion to the recreation department, he has
proven to be a keeper.
Patrick got his start in coaching when his son signed up for 6u basketball at the
recreation department. Although it was his first season as a coach, basketball was no
stranger. Patrick played football and basketball in middle school and high school in
Jacksonville, Florida. Basketball was his domain. “Basketball was my first love,” he
expressed, “I tried out for the D-League in Texas.” Patrick has taken his love of
basketball and turned it into a tool for learning.
Coaching the All-Starts
While coaching sports with children, a game or season will happen that a coach will
never forget. Patrick shared, “This season, I would say will be my most memorable. This
year I was selected to coach the All-Star team. I feel that it’s an honor to be trusted with
the development of this group of guys. They are so eager to soak up what you have to
teach them. I’ve got high expectations for myself and them as players.”
Those that have the willingness and commitment to volunteer within their community
are the elite ones; they play a significant role on the team that is molding today’s youth.
But what inspires a person to coach, Patrick fondly explained, “Because I want to let kids
know that the guys they see on TV were them at one time.
Those athletes just put in the hard work and didn’t let things distract them. I’ve seen a
lot of guys who were good enough but got distracted by life events. I have witnessed
some who made the wrong choices and they end up sidelined from their dream. I feel to
make an impact you have to start at a younger group and move up.”
A Lasting Impression
Along the road of coaching there are an array of skill levels; some are home taught,
and then there are those natural talents that seem to shine in their own element. Those
are the players that tend to not to be forgotten. When asked if he had come across such a
rare find, Patrick discussed one of the athletes that has made a lasting impression, and
may have a long career of basketball. “That is easy! Hands down, I would have to say
Demetrius Brown. I had the opportunity to coach him last year, and then this year on
the All-Star team. I think that was the first time I have ever been amazed and in awe of a
kid. He’s already come into his own game and can handle the ball better than a lot of
adults I have seen.”
Patrick Newman is an athlete at heart and recognizes the rewards of hard work and
perseverance. As a coach and mentor, he is determined to share his love of basketball
and his knowledge with the young athletes that register at the Pooler Recreation
Department. He enlightened, “Can I jump over two or three guys like I used to? No. Am
I as fast as I used to be? No, but I still have the fundamentals and smarts. That's what
enables me to still be a dominant player. As a kid growing up, I never skipped steps. I
always worked on fundamentals because I know athleticism is fleeting.” This concept is
the drive behind an All-Star team. He still finds the time to keep his swiftness on the
court fresh. He adds, “I still play pick-up games in different gyms.” Although he is
currently only coaching basketball, Patrick is open to coaching other sports as well.
Patrick has lived in the Pooler community for more than two years. He has been with
the recreation department for two seasons and looks forward to many more on the
courts. This newcomer shared about his family, “Well there’s my mom, Felisa who’s a
retired nurse who currently runs her own daycare, and my dad, Sidney who’s a Navy
veteran and a retired aviation engineer. I have four sisters, Stefonia, Briona, Alexis, and

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