Nabors takes over as Jemison basketball coach

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Jemison High School introduced new boy’s basketball head coach James Nabors to its players and their parents at an event on July 10. Nabors was introduced to the crowd by Jemison football head coach John Therrell and he spoke about what his expectations are for the players, and began setting his foundation to build the program.

“Someone asked me ‘Why Jemison?’ Well, why not,” Nabors said. “This is where I want to be, this is where they want me and this is where God put me. So, I am going to be here. We have to bring that winning attitude to these guys.”

Nabors brings tens of years of basketball coaching experience into Jemison that began in 1999 in Birmingham. He won a middle school championship in his second season.

From there, Nabors spent time at Parker, Ramsey, Huffman and Jackson-Olin high schools as well as John Herbert Phillips Academy where he was highly competitive in coaching both girls and boys basketball. Nabors’ best years came on the Ramsey staff that included three consecutive trips to the final four, and two of those years he reached the state championship game.

“I learned a lot at those schools,” Nabors said. “Now I am here (at Jemison), and I hope I am here for a long time because I want a place where I can build longevity and build a program.”

When it comes to Jemison, Nabors was familiar with his new home before he was hired. He was also an official the last few years and officiated one of Jemison’s football games in 2022 where he met Therrell.

When the job came available, Nabors did not hesitate to apply.

“God said ‘You do not know it, but this is where you will coach next year,’” Nabors said. “The job was open, and I just applied to see what would happen. They gave me a call, we talked for a long time and the interview went really well.”

Nabors got a feel of how strong the Jemison basketball support is as well, officiating their away game at Calera High School last year. He said he noticed the amount of support Jemison had and the number of fans that made the drive up for an away game.

Nabors said he wants to teach the Jemison players to compete while also instilling life skills in them. He does not want the program to be “a doormat for other schools,” and wants to dispel the narrative of Jemison being an easy game on the schedule.

Nabors’ passion for coaching runs deep and he has coached baseball and football in the past. However, he said nothing compares to basketball, and he believes that is the true calling God has given him. He hopes to use that passion to build a winning program at Jemison High School.

“(Therrell) is a great guy, (Kendall) Jackson is outstanding and I cannot say enough about them,” Nabors said. “They made me feel at home, and they told me ‘This is your program.’ They told me the direction they want to go and what they expect, and we shared the same direction. It just made me feel at home right away.”