After leading the Tucker Tigers to their first ever state championship in boys basketball in 1996, I found myself at Berkmar High School in 1997. That first year was absolutely amazing as we won a region championship and went all the way to the state finals. Tony Akins was named Mr. Georgia Basketball that year, and the community was excited about the basketball program. However, the best was yet to come.
After winning 19 games with a very young team, we were ready to make our mark on the basketball world the following two years. With so many outstanding players returning, expectations were high. We were invited to participate in two prestigious national tournaments. In the City of Palms Berkmar won 3 out of our 4 games against great competition, but then we went to the Beach Ball Classic and finished 3rd. Adrian Borders made a remarkable 16 out of 16 shots from the field to set a tournament record that had been set by the great Kevin Garnett. The team kept getting better and better and found itself playing Westside of Macon in the Final Four. Down 16 at the start of the 4th quarter, we made a gut wrenching remarkable comeback to win in dramatic fashion. The next day we beat Warner Robins for the first state championship in school history with Wayne Arnold scoring 20 points as a sophomore.
The following year although we lost our all star point guard William Witherspoon to graduation, we returned Wayne Arnold, Shawn Ikpa, Adrian Borders, Darrin
Clark Williams, Robin Nelson, and picked up James Pattman. With a brutally tough schedule that included 2 more national tournaments, we set out to win Back to Back state championships. Everybody gave us their best shot. We had to go through a gauntlet just to get to the Final Four where 6’11” Kwami Brown and Glynn Academy stood squarely in the way. In one of the greatest state tournament games in state history, and with Brown scoring 38 points, we held on for an 84-81 OT victory! Robin Nelson came off the bench to save the day with 9 huge points. The following night we beat an incredible Savannah team to win our second consecutive state title. Over those 2 years the team went 59-6 and only lost one game in the state of Georgia. Those teams brought great pride to our community and great memories.
Our team goal for the 1999/2000 season