Five years ago, basketball in Grambling was sort of a joke. No one took Grambling serious as it related to basketball. When talking to folks in the basketball community, Grambling was sort of a dumping ground for players who wasn’t good enough for D1 or Junior College. Recruiting for the program was horrific. Since the former NBA and Grambling alumni Larry Wright excited the program , there has been a revolving door of head coaches at the helm of the Tiger Men’s program. Kenny Sykes, Bobby Washington, and Joseph Price once lead the Tiger program however during those years the program suffered it worst seasons as losses piled up and embarrassment grew for a program that produces NBA stars Willis Reed , Bob Hopkins and Aaron James. The hiring of Shawn Walker back in 2014 didn’t look as though things were going to change with Walkers’ first season being 2-27 and 0-18 in conference play. But Walker did something totally different in building up his program.
With the Grambling State Tiger football program suffering through the years of 2012-2014 with huge losses , unstable coaches and a revolving roster added with a players boycott in 2014, things looked bleak for the once proud Tiger athletic program. Broderick Fobbs was hired away from McNeese State and returned back home to get the program back on top. Fobbs hired great assistant coaches , then he over hualed the roster and began bringing in quality talent. Fobbs began to win games and finally broke through in 2016 with a SWAC Championship and a National HBCU championship with a win over NCCU in the Celebration Bowl. Fobbs had developed a formula for success.
Shawn Walker took time and went over to the Tiger’s football facility and talked with Fobbs about his plan. Well, in speaking with Fobbs, Walker was able to devise a plan to reshape and re tool the men’s basketball . Players and coaches would be accountable for their actions on and off the court. Walker then brought in some needed help to get the Tigers headed in the right direction. Ervin Mitchell, Remond Brown, and Avery Ugba average double figures for the Tigers while leading a balanced attack. After improving from 2 to 5 wins in season two, this year seems to be the rise of the Tigers. With the football team giving the community something to be proud of, the men’s basketball team has followed up with a 14 win season and possibly more. Sitting at 9-8 in conference play, the G-Men looks to host a first round SWAC Tournament game at Fred Hobdy Center on Tuesday.
Walker has lit fire to a program that was starving for success. Going from a 2 win season to possibly a 15 win season in two years is an incredible feat for the small Louisiana school in the Lincoln Parish. Credit Coach Broderick Fobbs for sharing his winning formula with Walker in preparing the Tigers for success. Now the Tigers can only continue to make history as a 2-26 Alabama A&M team limp into Fred Hobdy Center on Saturday as the season concludes. Can Walker and the Tigers continue to improve?……Stay Tuned.…