Former Greenville-Weston Honeybees head coach Curtis Stovall retired from the Greenville Public School District after twenty plus years in education and several successful seasons highlighted by a loss in the 2008 State 6A Championship game.
Instead of taking it easy and reflecting on a distinguished career in athletics and academics, he resurfaced about five years ago at Southern University Shreveport Louisiana.
His first couple of seasons, he coached the women’s team of this Gulf Coast Athletic Conference community college squad. During that stint, he won a conference title, beating conference juggernaut Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on their homecourt and had a player sign with Rutgers University.
Now as a men’s assistant coach, Stovall has a vision for reaching back and paying it forward for Delta players with talent, but without an academic and athletic home.
“I’ll be out recruiting specifically for unsigned players,” Stovall said. “Southern University at Shreveport Louisiana is located in the Shreveport/Bossier City area and is a great atmosphere for young players to come and learn and be exposed to a great program and great school.”
Stovall said that the community college located in north central Louisiana is one of several satellite campuses of Southern University in Baton Rouge.
Hence, its connection to the main campus and its proximity to universities such as Louisiana Tech, LSU and others has made it a feeder program to its geographically proximate schools.
SUSLA also tends to get most of its student athletes from nearby. Stovall endeavors to shift the paradigm and change the narrative on both fronts. “Most kids from the Delta probably have never heard of us or have never been recruited by us,” he said.
“Also, most of the athletes who come here probably have never heard of Jackson State, Valley, Alcorn or any of the universities in Mississippi. I would like to start recruiting Delta players to come here and letting our outgoing players know about opportunities to play in Mississippi.”
Players who decide to attend SUSLA will get a chance to see how they stack up with some of the best community college competition in the country and the world. Stovall has recruited a 6’10” forward from Serbia and a 7’1” center from Georgia by way of Africa.
“We have 10 freshmen coming into the program on a 12-man roster next year,” Stovall said.
“Next year this time I’d love to be coaching a kid from the Delta who I helped recruit and sign.”