Fambrough: Numbers don’t tell Larry Grantham’s story

Sportswriters are notoriously big on numbers. But there are times when numbers don’t tell the whole story of a game, a player or a coach.

Larry Grantham offers a prime example. Grantham is retiring as boys basketball coach at Tara High, where he spent most of his 36-year career. While it is fair to say Grantham is not the best known coach in Baton Rouge, his colleagues and others, including myself, will tell you what a huge role he played in the lives of his players. His impact defies wins and losses.

There was little fanfare when Grantham’s Tara team lost to top-seeded Peabody High in the second-round of the Class 4A playoffs last month. Grantham told his players about his plans in Alexandria the night of the loss.

With prodding from me, Grantham figured his career record. It’s 449-443 and included a trip to the Class 4A Top 28 tourney in 1995. Tara finished as the runner-up to Glen Oaks that year.

“The wins are for the kids as far as I’m concerned,” Grantham said. “My job was to prepare them to play, because really it’s all about them and not me.

“Things don’t always go your way, and you don’t always win. That’s one of the lessons you learn through athletics. I’ve been fortunate to coach some great kids. I’m proud of the team this year. They worked hard to get better and never gave up.”

Grantham is proud of the players he coached. Some of those players, including former Tara and LSU star Marcus Thornton, now of the Sacramento Kings, got the chance to honor Grantham when the school hosted an alumni game last fall.

Grantham said he is not sure what his future will be. Selfishly, I hope Grantham finds a way to stay involved with basketball and high school sports. It will be our loss if he doesn’t.

Falcon honored

Ascension Catholic honored current LSU shortstop Allison Falcon in a big way last week. The Donaldsonville school retired Falcon’s number before an ACHS softball game. Falcon, who is now one of LSU’s top players, was an All-Metro and Class 1A all-state player multiple times.

Job openings

St. Joseph’s Academy seeks a full-time head basketball coach/physical education teacher for the 2013-14 season. Applicants must be certified in physical education and have three years coaching experience, preferably coaching girls basketball.

Experience using technology in the classroom is considered a plus. Submit résumés and references to SJA Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont at
beaumontd@sjabr.org.

m McKinley High seeks applicants for its head boys basketball position. Applicants should contact MHS Principal Armond Brown at (225) 344-7696.

Living4Burke benefit

The Dutchtown Lacrosse Club will honor the late Burke Cobb with a fundraiser tournament set for at 9 a.m. March 16 at Ascension Christian School in Gonzales.

Catholic High, Jesuit-New Orleans and the Lafayette Hurricanes are other teams set to compete. Admission will be $5. Raffles and T-shirt sales also are scheduled.

Cobb, who played for the DHS club last season, died from an undiagnosed heart condition last summer before the start of his freshman year at Dutchtown High. Proceeds will go to the Living4Burke Foundation which is working to educate the public about sudden cardiac death among children and teens. The foundation is also working to provide low-cost cardiac screening for children and teens.

Open dates

St. Amant High needs one boys basketball team for its jamboree set for Nov. 14. The Gators also need to fill open dates on Nov. 22, Dec. 10, Dec. 17, Jan. 3, Jan. 14 and Jan. 14 or Jan. 17,

m The Dunham School needs boys basketball teams for its tournament Nov. 25-27. The Dunham boys need opponents Dec. 20 and Jan. 3.

The Tigers seek boys/girls opponents Nov. 19 and Jan. 28. Contact Dunham coach Chad Myers at (225) 938-0808.

m Dunham also seeks eight varsity and eight junior varsity boys teams for its summer league that will be played at the Team Sportsplex. Sportsplex facilities will allow three games to be played at a time. Call Myers at (225) 938-0808 for details.

Prep notables

Plaquemine High will host its 12th annual Green Devil Invitational Golf Classic on April 29 at The Island located in Plaquemine.

Cost is $100 per golfer and all participants must wear a collared shirt and soft spikes. Jeans are prohibited. Singles, women and groups of less than four are welcome to participate in this benefit tourney, featuring door prizes.

Contact PHS Athletic
Director Scott Allen at (225) 687-6367.