Jenkins tabs Allen as head boys' basketball coach

Jenkins tabs Allen as head boys' basketball coach
(Source: Raycom Media Stock Image)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Jenkins is turning to Derrick Allen to lead the boys' basketball program in the 2018-2019 season.

Athletic director Brittany Cooley confirmed to WTOC the Warriors had hired Allen to take over the program after Bakari Bryant left for another position after the season.

Allen comes to Savannah after a stint as a varsity assistant coach and head junior varsity coach at Lovejoy High School in Hampton.

"Just looking at the school and the history of this basketball program, I thought this would be a great opportunity," Allen told WTOC Sports over the phone.

A native of Brookhaven, MS, Allen played basketball at Alcorn State for a year and spent some time playing semi-professionally in the ABA and IBL. He says he knows taking over a storied program like Jenkins as a first-time head coach is a little daunting. But Allen believes he's up for the challenge.

"I wouldn't want it any other way. It's the way my whole life has gone," he says. "I know the challenges. I know everyone will want nothing more than for us to win."

The Warriors lose 10 seniors from last year's state runner-up team. Allen says that's just another challenge his program will overcome.

"I'm not an excuse-maker. We just have to work harder," he says. "If I have the key to the gym, I'll do whatever it takes to get my players to where I think we should be."

Allen has only been a coach for two seasons, but he already has a vision for what the Warriors will look like under his guidance.

"We're going to compete. They're going to fight hard, and they're going to dig in on defense every night," he says. "The thing that I can promise is that they're going to play hard, and I'm going to give everything I have as far as my knowledge of the game."