At the Mississippi School for the Deaf, basketball coach Sekoe White demands excellence from his players.
Basketball is more than just a sport in White’s eyes; it’s a way to build character and discipline — traits that can only mature in the midst of trial.
In a video clip that has gone viral, White is seen giving his frustrated Bulldog players a pep talk through sign language during a game on Nov. 8.
Signing with intensity, White reminded his players that they needed to play with unity. “One defense!” he said in part of his speech.
Basketball fan Kenny Griffis was in the stands that night and captured the coach’s inspiring words that motivated his players to leap off the bench, get back into the game, and fight with a renewed determination.
After the video clip went viral, White had the opportunity to speak about his basketball program, sharing his reasons for coaching.
“Being deaf or visually impaired is no excuse not to succeed,” White told “Good Morning America.“
I sat behind the Miss School for Deaf team last night. This coach was remarkable. Just before this the coach had a conversation with his best player that was the best coaching communication I’d ever seen. Thanks coach. These boys are lucky to have you. pic.twitter.com/t8wJHW9cJk
— Kenny Griffis (@kengriffis) November 9, 2018
“We can do anything in this life, but it requires extra hard work,” White said.
“Basketball is one area where success can happen. Teaching this mindset is the reason I choose to coach these boys.”
The Bulldogs didn’t win that particular game, but from the looks of it, they’re learning about what really matters in life: hard work, determination, and perseverance.
Wendy Rogers, superintendent of Mississippi Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, said that White’s coaching style prepares students to succeed in life.
“Coach Sekoe White is truly an example of a coach whose passion is to encourage and motivate his players, and he is a role model for each of them,” Rogers wrote in a statement to “Good Morning America.”
“Coach White is one of many coaches at MSD who instills sportsmanship and pride in players, while teaching them life skills through athletics.”
As the Mississippi School for the Deaf wrote on its Facebook page, “it’s a great day to be a Bulldog.”
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