The new head coach of the basketball team, Fred Battle, never expected to have an international career in basketball. Rather, he spent his time on multiple “courts” as a student: basketball, track, baseball and most notably, football. However, once a childhood friend challenged him to a game on the basketball court and beat him, he suddenly felt a passion for the game, or at least for winning the next one. “Still, I knew one day I wanted to be the head coach of a place like this,” Mr. Battle said.
With time, Mr. Battle played to a level most basketball teams wanted, including several outside of the country. “It was always a good and open presentation (meeting) when the teams got to know each other,” Mr. Battle said. While Coach Battle played in Venezuela and Dominican Republic, he began to pick up on the Spanish language. “It was kind of hard but fun learning new languages,” Mr. Battle said. He even picked up on some Greek while playing on a team in Greece.
Moving forward a few years, Mr. Battle decided to settle down and coach students in the game of basketball after having his first son, Jalen. He started at Cypress Bay with the encouragement of friends and now he has 23 years of coaching experience around South Florida. He started coaching Heritage’s basketball team three years ago as an assistant coach and now feels the difference between being assistant coach and head coach. “As an assistant coach, you’re pretty much just coaching basketball. Now, as the head coach, you have to make sure paperwork is in line and all their physicals are in order just to have the kids on the court to compete,” Mr. Battle said.
The basketball team started practice Nov. 5. Now, the “Mr. Worldwide” of basketball, Fred Battle, and his team looks forward to their first game Nov. 29. Coach Battle hopes to take the team beyond districts this year. “Being a head coach, there’s more responsibility that comes with it, but I’m up for the challenge,” Mr. Battle said.