York Prep's new basketball coach, Larry Davis, plans on continuing to play the challenging schedule that the Patriots played under predecessor Frank Hamrick. Davis expects the bulk of the Patriots' schedule will be played in the South Carolina High School League. York Prep meets with the SCHSL executive committee on Thursday, April 26, 2018 to make its membership plea.
Davis was announced as the school's new head coach on Monday morning, about three weeks after Hamrick was let go. Davis, the former Lewisville and Northwestern coach, has been busy learning about charter schools since his initial interest in the job.
“It’s got a great academic program which I didn’t know a whole lot about the school before meeting with the staff. But the way their academic structure is put together it really allows their kids to develop academically and it prepares them for college,” said Davis.
Davis recently spent seasons on the college coaching staffs at Newberry and James Madison. Davis led Lewisville to the 2013 1A state championship. He went 31-19 during two years at Northwestern.
The plan is for Davis to guide York Prep's basketball program into the South Carolina High School League, provided the public charter school is allowed to join. The Patriots have been an unaffiliated athletic program since the school's opening in 2010, but recently decided to attempt to join the SCHSL.
“We’ll have rules and guidelines with the high school league,” said Davis. “At the same time it gives us a chance to play for something. It’s exciting in a sense. We still want to have a competitive schedule, a powerful non-conference schedule. We want the kids to understand we’re not gonna have a drop in competition.”
Davis replaces Hamrick, who was fired by York Prep earlier this month. Davis played college basketball at North Carolina, winning a national championship in 1993, before transferring to South Carolina to conclude his career. He averaged 17 points per game in two seasons playing under Gamecocks coach Eddie Fogler.
Davis hopes that he can keep York Prep's talented team in tact. The Patriots boast several top class of 2019 recruits, including 6-foot-9 D.J. Burns, who recently had in-home or on-campus visits with South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and guard Deuce Dean, who is getting heavy interest from Florida and Kansas State, among others.
“I do understand that we’re taking a job where the relationships were formed before I got there are still there and may not be open to change,” said Davis.
He also knows that Hamrick left York Prep's pipeline of talent well-filled.
“To be able to see those kids come up and be able to coach them is really exciting,” said Davis, who has known some of York Prep’s younger players since they were in third or fourth grade through the AAU program that he oversees.
Davis didn't say much on how things fell apart between Hamrick and York Prep, which had two opposing views of the basketball program's direction, saying only “There are some things that we definitely would do differently than how they were done previously.”
“But," he added, "we’re looking at building a solid program that will help prepare kids on the floor and off the floor for the next step.”