Persistence paid off for Kevin Ledoux, the new coach of the Miami Dade College’s men’s basketball team.
Ledoux, a 46-year-old New Hampshire native, played college basketball at Chipola College, Life University and the University of North Alabama.
After getting a Business Management degree, Ledoux spent the next 20 years as an outside sales representative for manufacturing and distributing companies in the Southeast.
But he couldn’t shake his love for basketball. He spent about a year texting and calling previous MDC coach Stephen Cowherd, asking him for a job.
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Ledoux finally wore down Cowherd and became one of his assistant coaches the past three years. Ledoux was so eager to coach, he commuted from Jacksonville, renting a small apartment in Miami.
But after Cowherd left MDC to take a job as an assistant at Division I Louisiana-Monroe, Ledoux was promoted. He and his wife were finally able to move full-time to the Miami area.
The plan now is simple.
“I want to help young men understand how important a college education is,” Ledoux said. “I want to help them succeed in life.”
Cowherd, meanwhile, will be coaching two of his former MDC players at Louisiana-Monroe: 6-4 senior guard Prince Cooper and 6-3 junior guard Marvin Jean-Pierre.
There are some other ex-MDC basketball players competing at higher levels:
▪ Xavier Munford, a 6-2 guard, played 14 games in 2016 for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging an impressive 5.7 points as an undrafted rookie. Munford, 24, is believed to be the first MDC player to make the NBA in decades.
▪ Joe Mvuezolo Jr., a 6-6 junior forward from England, plays for Montana State.
▪ Dalen Traore, a 6-9 forward, plays for Evansville.
▪ Paulius Zabilevicius, a 6-8 forward, plays for Eckerd.
The Bobcats men’s basketball team will be led this season by 6-4 senior guard Michael Walker, who averaged 16.1 points and 2.25 steals in 2015-2016, ranking fourth in NAIA in the latter category.
On Jan. 21, the Bobcats play at Keiser University in West Palm Beach. Keiser is run by Rollie Massimino, the famed coach who led Villanova to the 1985 national championship upset win over Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas.
Massimino turns 82 on Nov. 13.
Several ex-Bucs basketball players are competing overseas, including Yunio Barrueta (Belgium); Jevoni Robinson (Italy); Magne Fivelstad (Norway); and Juan Ferrales (Norway).
But the former Barry athlete who is probably having the best time right now is Cleveland Indians backup catcher Yan Gomes, who is in the World Series.
Former Canes catcher Zack Collins, who hit six homers and had a .831 OPS in his 39-game rookie pro season in the low minors, is already the No. 1 prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization, according to Baseball America. Collins, 21, was the 10th overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft.