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Hopewell Junior High Basketball

Doug Biega Surrounding Himself With Winners To Make Hopewell Basketball Better



It’s pretty safe to say that no junior high basketball program in Beaver County and possibly the WPIAL has more talent in the coaching ranks than Hopewell.

Hall of Fame head coach Doug Biega returns for his second season, and he’s set the bar very high with their being extremely high expectations for the Hopewell Junior High Gold Team. This season, the junior high program will have two teams, a Gold team along with a Blue Team. These teams will be a combination of 7th and 8th grade players.

Last season, Biega’s Hopewell 7th grade team finished with a record of 15-0. However, things will be more difficult as the Vikings will be playing a 5A schedule, along with a game against Sewickley Academy, which is loaded.

“I never thought that a coach’s job was to go undefeated,” Biega tells HSN. “Sometimes worrying too much about winning games sacrifices a chance at winning a championship. You fall into the habits of taking shortcuts just to win games, when the necessary lessons need to be enforced throughout the season to accomplish the ultimate goal. I have a lot of really big time guys as mentors. Don Yannessa, Frank Morocco, Mike Zmijanac , Jim Deep. Zmijanac always told me you cannot win championships if you’re too worried about winning games. That resonated with me.”

” In junior high, my ultimate goal is obviously different than when I was a varsity coach. It is to prepare them to compete at the varsity level as soon as they enter. If you look back at my career at Beaver Falls; we were dominating AA when there were only four classifications. So, we voluntarily moved up to AAA just to reach down a little bit deeper inside the kids’ chests and see what we could do. Ended up being very successful. So, this year, we have ridiculously beefed up the schedule. And we will not take any shortcuts along the way to preparing them for their next phase.”

To say Biega’s teams at Beaver Falls were dominating would be an understatement. In 18 years as the head coach, his teams went 378-115, winning 4 WPIAL championships (2005, 2012, 2013 and 2016), along with two PIAA titles (20025 and 2013).

Biega believes this group of players have the talent to be special and possibly bring championship banners to Hopewell down the road. In order to help with their development and to bring them a championship mentality, he’s brought in some people that know how to win and that he’s very familiar with.

When preparing for the upcoming season, Biega made phone calls to a couple of his former stars at Beaver Falls- Donovan Jeter and Javon Turner. We introduced you to Jeter a couple weeks ago and on Thursday, Hopewell Sports Nation was able to catch up with Turner. He talked with us about joining the Hopewell basketball program, thoughts of becoming a first-time coach and joining back up with his former head coach.

WATCH: Interview With New Hopewell Assistant Jr. High Basketball Coach Donovan Jeter

“I’ve been interested into jumping into coaching for a while, I just never had the opportunity to do so due to my schedule at work,” said Turner. “I also, didn’t want to just hop onto any team and coach, I wanted to go someplace where I knew what was going on. Honestly, I don’t know a basketball system better than I know Coach Biega’s system. I know it like the back of my hand. He reached out to me and told me that there’s an opportunity at Hopewell and both Donovan and I jumped at it.”

“I feel like when you’re a former player and play for so long, it’s really hard to just stop playing. But you have to because that’s just the reality of life. But a lot of players look to get back into it in some way and that’s where I’m at. I definitely want to give back and help these players.”

Turner was someone that made the Beaver Falls championship roster as a freshman in 2013 and was a major contributor to the 2014 team. During their playoff run in 2014, here’s how Biega described Turner was a player- “He does a lot of everything. He’s not a great shooter but he’s a great scorer. He’s not an elite defender but he’s a really good defender. He’s a greater rebounder for a kid his size. He does a lot of what we need.”  Turner is hoping to bring some of his championship experience and winning mentality to this Hopewell junior high program.

“I’m going to be a high-paced coach, will stress defense. Man-on-man, 1-on-1, one v one, that’s how I know basketball,” said Turner. “That’s how I was coached. It’s one v one, your man doesn’t score. His man doesn’t score, and we win. Defense wins championships. That’s definitely my emphasis as a coach.”

“As a coach, I’m going to talk and coach every player the same way. From the best player to the last man on the roster, I treat them the same. They just have to deal with my style. I’m really enjoying watching them all play. You can really tell that these kids really love to play basketball. They really want to be here and that’s half the battle.”

Turner tells me since he’s new to coaching, he’s trying to learn along the way and knows he’s fortunate to have a Hall of Fame coach to ask questions to and learn from.

“I’ve known him since 6th, 7th grade,” said Turner. “He’s taught me everything, he’s taught me how to win, he’s taught me the positions to be in in order to win, he’s taught me how to have class after you win or lose. I plan on following through with those lessons every day and I’m going to learn every day. I used to watch him as a player and how he coached and am doing the same now that I’m coaching with him. I want to see and know the things he’s looking at and what I should be looking at and for.”

It’s gametime now for the junior high program. After preparing this offseason and spending the last month in conditioning, the Vikings have their first scrimmage tomorrow morning at Laurel. Both Turner and Biega are anxious to see what they have and how far this group can go.

“I want to see these guys in action,” said Turner. “This is where you practice, this is when you get your prep but when we play on Saturday, that’s when we get to eat. You’ve been fasting, you’ve been working for this day and now it’s time to eat and time for us to shine. I hope the players are excited as I am.”

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