James Lunsford Named Milledgeville Hometown Hero
Excellence goes past the court. Basketball is only part of the man.
Coach James Lunsford continues to challenge his student athletes to keep their priorities in line.
"You got to develop the total kid you can't just develop him, making him a better basketball player or football player. You got to work on him being a better student, being a better person. You got to work on the total kid," said Lunsford.
Lunsford started at Baldwin High School in 1969 and stayed for most of his career. He was the first black basketball coach at the school. In 1981 his Baldwin team met the ultimate goal.
"That's the year that we accomplished winning the state championship that year," said Clarence Hall, who played for Lunsford in 1981.
Coach Lunsford found great success on the basketball court, but says his greatest career achievement is helping student athletes get into college.
"For eight years at Baldwin High School every kid signed a scholarship. We even had managers to sign a scholarship," said Lunsford.
Lunsford now leads the GMC prep basketball team and even after years of coaching his passion to help youth remains true.
"You know what to expect from him. He expects you to come out at practice and on game days ready to play. Play your best and play your hardest. He's going to do his best to motivate you and put you and the team in the best situation to win," said Dustin Archebelle, former GMC prep basketball player.
Beyond the X’s and O’s, Lunsford understands his real influence.
"I want them to be better people. I want them to be people concerned about their fellow man, concerned about their community, concerned about their school, concerned about making things better," said Lunsford.
"You never know how God puts people in your life and I thank God for Coach Lunsford," said Hall.
Lunsford is one of the most successful coaches in the state of Georgia; he's won more than 500 games. In September he will be inducted into the Albany State Alumni Hall of Fame.