H.S. BASKETBALL | Former Cardinal Is Now Head Coach At Valley High School

12/08/2016 05:44 PM

Former Louisville Cardinal, Dejuan Wheat, has made his return to the court- this time as the coach at Valley High School.

“If I was to pick a year and pick a team, it would be this one, because the style of play that I like to play is getting up and down, shooting a lot of three’s, pressuring our man and run and that’s the type of team we have,” Wheat told CN|2 Sports.

As a Ballard High School graduate, he knew a thing or two about Valley long before he took the job.

“I played Valley every year,” Wheat said. “Every year, and they had some hard-nosed players. A lot of my friends that I grew up with, they played for Valley and it was just good times going against those guys.”

He said that playing for UofL changed everything for him.

“Probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. When I was a kid, at the time, because it’s an exciting time. You know, I visited a lot of schools. I visited Tennessee, visited South Carolina, and ya know, it wasn’t too hard to pick UofL,” Wheat added.

He said he sees a lot of himself in his young basketball team, and he knows exactly what to tell them regarding the future.

“That it’s hard work. That nothing is given,” Wheat said. “Every kid on my team wants to go to the NBA, of course, but you know, I told them in order for that to happen you have to put in work. You have to do the right things leading up to getting to the NBA. You know, it’s a lot of variables, a lot of obstacles that you have to overcome and you don’t have a lot of chances to mess up, so if you’ve got an opportunity- take it. Take advantage of it.”

After a 13-year professional career that took him from the Minnesota Timberwolves and overseas, he said being on the sideline isn’t as different as you’d think.

“This is just another level. This is just a higher level. You know, getting out there- I feel like I’m competing, I feel like I’m back in the game,” he explained.

For this Valley team- they have just one goal.

“Sweet 16. You know, that’s the goal,” Wheat said. “That is the goal, nothing less. Nothing short of it and we train and we practice accordingly.”

Wheat said that he hopes people come support Valley and their “fun brand” of basketball this season, just as much as others supported him in high school.

The undefeated Vikings are back in action Friday at Beth Haven at 7:30 p.m.

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