St. John's Christian hoops coach back from world tour

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- For years, Steve Guerry has helped teach basketball to kids in the Lowcountry. He's the head hoops coach at St. John's Christian in Moncks Corner.

Before that, he was at Stall High. But this past month, he took his game worldwide.

The big picture is easy for Guerry to see. Visions take form when the ball is in his hand and the hoop is within reach. That's true now more than ever.

"It changed the way I viewed basketball. Before, wins and losses were the biggest thing, trying to move up the ladder, see what my record was. Now, my wife and I and our team are using basketball as a way to reach people and change lives," he said.

There was no glitz and glamour to their summer vacation. The Guerry family is just getting back from southeast Asia, but there were not beaches in Bali for them.

"Ten minutes outside of the city it's very remote, third world. There are people pulling water and plows with bulls, keep livestock in their house. I don't want people to bother them, but go to school and there are basketball courts in the courtyard in middle of school," Guerry said.

Their mission is to bring organized basketball to those who need it, wrangling up locals with the same calling from Berkeley County and bouncing those ideas halfway across the world.

"We have run camps together before. It's something to combine the passions of being involved in community and church and basketball. There's no better way than doing what we love. When you teach basketball, there is no language barrier. I learned 1, 2,3 , lineup, watch and listen -- the rest was like we were in USA," he said.

There was very little difference at all once they stepped onto the court.

"People loved it. They love basketball, can't get enough. There are more opportunities in a small area than downtown Charleston. People embraced it; they had a knowledge base. They can't speak English, but they know who Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade are. They love it and embraced us being there," he said.

Guerry and family took a trip halfway around the world to realize one small, orange ball can bridge some pretty big gaps.

"My wife and I run camps in Moncks Corner and Kingstree and The Citadel. They're almost the same thing -- teaching 8 year olds how to dribble between legs and left handed. At that age group, there's not a lot of skill base anyway," he said. "Working with younger kids, it looked like downtown at The Citadel at basketball camp, but they can't speak English. Someone told us when they are adults and have children they'll be talking about the time the Americans came over and played basketball with them at their school."

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