Right at home

Right at home

North Caddo head coach Ron Meikle's worked with the world's best basketball players, but in his first year in Vivian, he's learning more about the game coaching high school than he did in the pros
VIVIAN, La - During the week, Ron Meikle can be found coaching high school basketball in a dimly lit gym at North Caddo High School in Vivian, LA.

Coaching basketball's like riding a bike to Meikle, but coaching high school basketball is new terrain. He's experienced the peak of the professional basketball world as an NBA scout for 25 years and the head coach of an NBA D-League squad in Los Angeles.

"This is a whole new thing," Meikle said. "It's been an adjustment, but  its been good."

During his NBA career, he made stops at Golden State, Atlanta, and Cleveland where Michael Jordan's trademark shot over Craig Ehlo in game five of the Eastern Conference semifinals sent him and the Cavs home without a championship.

"I thought we could have won it that year,  but that's as close as I ever got to winning a ring, but I had a great career. I was part of drafting six all-stars. Some of the names you may know are Jason Richardson and most recently Al Horford with the Atlanta Hawks."

After taking a detour through north Louisiana over the summer of 2013, Meikle landed a job interview at North Caddo High School, and subsequently landed a job as their boys basketball coach, where he's passing along a lifetime of professional basketball knowledge to a group of high school players.

"We get the experience that a lot of kids don't get," Jontaveon Brooks, North Caddo guard, said. "Him being in the NBA and all, he teaches us a lot of things. And then the stories he tells us about the NBA. He tells us a lot of good stories about Michael Jordan."

North Caddo 6'7" sophomore Rob Williams' eyes lit up when he discovered the Rebels newest coach came from the NBA.

"Our principal was like, we found you a coach," Williams said. I was like, who? She said he was a scout for the Atlanta Hawks and I thought, 'man I'm going to the NBA!"

While the players are soaking in his knowledge, it's Meikle that's learning the most.

"I think I've learned more because it's been an adjustment being around the kids. That's my explanation for doing this. I enjoy that part. I like teaching. I like being around the kids. It makes me feel young. It makes me feel alive."

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