Belgreen alum coaches North All-Stars
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
Belgreen alum Brian Pounders will be coaching the North All-Stars in the annual North-South All-Star basketball game in Montgomery Wednesday night. The game is part of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s annual All-Star Sports Week, a combination of games for top athletes in the state and a coaching clinic for hundreds of state coaches.
The basketball game will feature the top rising senior basketball players in the state of Alabama. Pounders will get to coach the North’s top talent and is looking forward to the occasion.
“It is a great honor to coach such talented basketball players,” said Pounders, who is the head basketball coach at Deshler High School. He was selected by one of the state committee members who had seen his team play at Deshler. “I had a friend who has coached for 23 years say he had never had this opportunity, so it is humbling and a great experience to coach the North’s best basketball players.”
Pounders just finished his third season as the head coach at Deshler. His teams have made the playoffs each of his three seasons. They won the 16-team Bracy Invitational in 2013 and have averaged 17 wins a season. The Tigers were ranked for the first time in nine years in 2014 when they climbed to the seventh spot in class 4A. Last year he led his team to the co-champions of class 4A, area 16.
Pounders, who graduated from Belgreen in 1998, is no stranger to top tier talent. He spent some time working under University of Alabama coach Mark Gottfried while in college and as a graduate assistant. He graduated from Alabama in 2005 with a master’s degree. He served one year as an assistant coach at UNA and three years as an assistant at Montevallo.
He then moved to the high school ranks, serving as an assistant coach at Gardendale High School in Birmingham for three years before accepting the head coaching job at Deshler.
Pounders only gets a few days to coach his players but said the players are tuned in and want to play and win.
“These are elite level players, and they pick up on things very quickly,” said Pounders. “They all have a very high basketball IQ. Many are still trying to play their way into a college scholarship and want to do their best and make a good impression. The hardest part with talent like this is being fair to them with playing time.”
The game will be played Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in Montgomery and will be televised online on the National Federation of High Schools Network. A link to the online broadcast can be found on the official site of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s website at www.AHSAA.com.