Bryant Morrison has found a home in Kingman.
In his first year of coaching basketball at Kingman Academy, the 2005 Desert Vista graduate helped lead the team to its first state title with a 67-56 over NFL Yet Academy in the 3A Charter School championship game.
“It was about fundamentals and chemistry,” he said. “We really came together at the right time.”
Kingman Academy was the fifth seed and knocked off No. 3 NFL Yet Academy in the finals.
“I met them in the summer and started an open gym to get to know the kids,” he said. “Once school started we met from 5:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. and worked on lifting and plyo(metrics). Most of the kids saw a 4- or 5-inch difference in their verticals and added 1 or 2 inches on their bodies (from new muscles).”
The trophy at the end of the season fortified how much hard work can make a difference.
“The win was kind of shocking,” he said. “We were playing well and all of a sudden it all came together.”
The team won’t get a chance to repeat as Kingman Academy is expected to move under the AIA umbrella next year assuming the school passes the facilities inspection.
“It’s exciting and the next step,” said Morrison, who said the school will be placed in 3A. “It will be a huge test for us.”
After graduating from Desert Vista, where Morrison, 25, played four years of volleyball and two years of junior varsity basketball, he went to Northern Arizona. His first teaching job was on the Peach Springs Indian reservation for the Hualapai Tribe where coached cross country, baseball and basketball.
“It was a great experience but I found a better situation,” he said. “I am excited to see where we can go from here.”
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