Watch: Deaf basketball coach uses sign language to give team talk
‘The best coaching communication I’d ever seen.’
A video shows a deaf basketball coach giving his squad an impassioned team talk in sign language, in a superb piece of coaching which has gone viral.
Coach Sekoe White was filmed by Judge Kenny Griffis instructing the Mississippi School for the Deaf (MSD) team, in footage shared thousands of times on Twitter.
Sekoe is himself deaf, previously competing for the USA in the Deaflympics before he became a coach.
“What caught me was the communication,” Kenny, a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, told the Press Association. “Like I said in the tweet, this was just a timeout during the end of the game.
“What was amazing was the one-on-one communication between the coach and his best player that occurred just prior to this.”
Kenny is a father of five boys who attend Jackson Preparatory School in Flowood, Mississippi, MSD’s opponents.
The 57-year-old said the two sides face each other regularly and MSD’s basketball ability is “outstanding”, although on this occasion Jackson Prep won.
Some with knowledge of sign language set out to translate Sekoe’s words to his players.
Talking about the game and then he goes, “honestly, idc. *puts the one on everyone* It’s about one. One defense let’s go. Who’s house? Who’s house? *Then they come back with* OURS”— Devin Kastrup (@DKallDay32) November 11, 2018
Actually he put the D on their forehead to put an emphasis on the importance of defense and to think defense. Hope you see it now.— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) November 11, 2018
Kenny said he would encourage people to reach out to deaf schools in their area with a basketball team, and “spotlight the incredible work that is being done by the teachers and administrators to allow these young men to participate in organised athletics”.
“I’m a proud Mississippian to know that we have men like Coach White working with boys that don’t have all of the opportunities we expect in life,” he said.