After leading the Greenville Christian School girls basketball team to its most successful season ever, Brother Sandifer has been named the Delta Democrat-Times’ Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.
Coach Sandifer and his Lady Saints finished the season with 24 victories and advanced to the first ever state championship game since the program first started playing girls basketball in 1971.
Coach Sandifer said he was honored to receive the award, and his players deserved so much credit for the success of the team.
“They just came together so well,” Coach Sandifer said. “They had fun in practice and fun in the games. And, they really played their best during the last three weeks of the season.”
While Coach Sandifer is a highly competitive coach, winning is not the main reason why he has coached at Greenville Christian over the last decade.
Coach Sandifer is a certified public accountant and the father of four children. He said he volunteers his time in order to make a difference in the lives of the girls he leads.
“Over the 10 years I have been at Greenville Christian, quite a few of the girls have not had a father figure or a positive male role model in their lives,” Coach Sandifer said.
“I believe that the Good Lord has asked me to give back to the community by coaching these girls. I believe it is my responsibility to show these girls that they can be coached and taught by someone who truly cares about them.”
Much of the credit for the success of the Lady Saints this season, Coach Sandifer said, was due to the superb leadership of the four seniors on this year’s team: Williette Kingdom, Jordyn Claiborne, A.K. Clary and Briyanna Palmer.
Greenville Christian was also helped greatly by the improved play of many of the underclassman on the Saints. Perhaps no Lady Saint improved as much as sophomore Tariyah Washington who by the end of the season was one of the most proficient scorers in all of MAIS girls basketball.
During the district tournament in Greenville, Washington put on a scoring clinic by averaging more than 27 points a game.
After coming up short in the state championship game, Coach Sandifer said he could not have been more proud of all the girls on the team.
“I have never coached a group of girls who played with as much heart as they have,” Coach Sandifer said.
“They never gave up in any game, and we played our best basketball in the last three weeks of the season.”