Valley’s all-star head coach

Published 11:00 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

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The victory tour is continuing for Valley’s basketball program as Head Coach Marshon Harper received another honor for leading the team. 

Harper has been selected to be an assistant coach for the 2024 Alabama-Mississippi Classic All-Star Game. 

“It’s a great honor to be selected to coach at this game,” Harper said. “Just a dream coming true for me. Been doing this for a lot of years. You see things coming true for you. Win a state title, coaching the all-star game, it’s just been an exciting time for me.” 

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This honor comes a season after Harper led the Rams to a perfect 33-0 season and a 5A state championship. 

Harper will be coaching alongside Patrick Harding — head coach of 6A state champion Buckhorn. Despite all of his accomplishments, Harper always believes there is more to learn. This all-star game is going to be a good opportunity for Harper to learn from other players and coaches that he is not typically around. 

“I think you can always learn something,” Harper said. “You don’t always know everything. I’m going to take this as a learning tool, a teaching tool and try to absorb as much knowledge as I can while doing this process. I think you can learn something at all times.” 

A state title had been a long time coming for Valley and Harper. Because of that wait, the victory tour has been long. However, it has not been as long for Harper as it has for everyone else. 

“Every time I see somebody, they ask me ‘where’s the ring, where’s the ring?’” Harper said. “I hardly ever wear the ring. I sometimes don’t think about [it], and I wake up the next day like you’re a state champion. It’s not really constantly on my mind. I’m always thinking about what we can do to improve the team [and] what we can do to be better as coaches.” 

Harper quickly shifted his focus away from last year’s state championship team, and he is solely focused on bringing a second championship to Valley. 

“I’m not just stuck on I’m a state champion,” Harper said. “I’m thinking on how we’re going to win another state title.” 

Harper may not believe that he knows it all just yet, but he does have more basketball knowledge than some people ever will. Harper hopes to instill some of that knowledge in the kids that he is going to be coaching the all-star game. 

“Just try to pour my knowledge into the kids,” Harper said. “I want to enjoy it. We only live this life once, we only have one life to live. I’m just going to enjoy it. It’s like taking a trip to Disney World. You get a once-in-a-lifetime chance at taking that trip, so I’m going to enjoy the moment.” 

Most coaches dream of hoisting a trophy at the end of the season. Harper has accomplished that, but coaching in an all-star game is a goal that he believes every coach should have. 

“I hope it’s a goal for each coach to coach in the all-star game,” Harper said. “Just solidifies my coaching career.”