Beach Ball Classic founder D’Antoni joins SCBCA Hall

dantoniFormer Socastee High and current Marshall University basketball coach Dan D’Antoni will be announced as a member of the latest induction class to the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Grand Strand Sports Report has learned.

D’Antoni, who coached at Socastee and founded the Beach Ball Classic before moving on to serve as an assistant in the NBA and eventually the head coach at his alma mater, will join Fran Campbell with Wren High School, Aubrey Pompey of Aiken High School, and Lynn Hicks of Wren High School in the induction class. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, March 18 in conjunction with the 67th Annual North-South All Star Game Weekend in Columbia.

D’Antoni coached for 30 years at Socastee High School and won 524 games, captured 12 region championships, eight region tournament titles, and his Braves participated in 21 state tournament appearances. He coached in three Lower State final contests (1982, 1998, 1999), won the Lower State Championship in 1998 and advanced the State Championship Game that same year.

D’Antoni founded the premier High School Basketball Tournament in America – The Beach Ball Classic in 1981. In 35 years, over 100 participants from this tournament have played in the NBA. D’Antoni has coached over 60 players that went on to play in college, including his three sons, Matthew, Andrew, and Nick. He also produced two SC Gatorade Players of the Year in Alvin Green and Nick D’Antoni.

D’Antoni served as the Head Coach for the South Carolina All Star Team in the SCACA All Star Classic in 1993 and the US Team in the Albert Schweitzer International Games in 1999.  Coach D’Antoni was inducted into the Socastee High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 for his service to the school.

After leaving Socastee, Dan joined his brother, Mike D’Antoni, on the staff with Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He served as the Head Coach for the LA Lakers Summer League team in 2013, and the NY Knicks team in 2010. He also was an assistant coach for the NBA All Star Game in 2007, and assisted with USA Olympic Team in 2008.

D’Antoni is currently the Head Coach for his alma mater, Marshall University, where he earned all-conference honors and led the Herd’s “Iron Five” to back-to-back NIT Final Four Appearances in 1967 and 1968. Coach D’Antoni was inducted into the Marshall Thundering Herd Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.  Dan has been an excellent ambassador for basketball in SC and the entire United States.

Photo courtesy of Marshall Athletics

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