Duease hired to pilot girls basketball at BA

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ginger Duease brings a new approach and a burst of energy toBrookhaven Academy’s tradition-rich girls basketball program.Duease, 34, was approved by the Brookhaven Academy Board ofTrustees during a Tuesday meeting. She will coach the varsity andjunior high programs.

Duease replaces the near legendary Barry Gray who stepped downthree weeks ago after 16 years at the helm. Gray, 48, coached theLady Cougars to the MAIS Overall Tournament crown and a 31-4 recordthis season. He won six Class AA State Tournament championshipsduring his tenure and two overall titles, the first in 2004.

Gray, a 1981 BA graduate, also won 12 of the last 13 districttournament titles and 11 of 13 South State crowns. He coached theBA golf team to the state title this spring.

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“I’m excited to get started with a great group of girls and a greattradition,” said Duease. “I’m ready for them to learn mysystem.”

Duease has two returning starters from the Overall championshipteam in All-Lincoln County MVP guard Terah Winborne and forwardLaura Beth Wright.

Brookhaven Academy headmaster Mike Sumlin said Duease is scheduledto meet with players, parents and fans Thursday morning in John R.Gray Gymnasium.

“We went into this process with the goal of finding the mostqualified coach to fit our program and then bringing thatindividual to Brookhaven Academy,” said Sumlin. “Coach Duease isthat person.”

Sumlin said he was impressed by Duease’s enthusiasm and love forbasketball. “She has a passion for the game, is a strong worker,believes in strong fundamentals and has a commitment to make BAbasketball a life-learning experience for her players.

“We are all excited and Coach Duease is ready to get her new teamin the gym.”

Duease is a 1995 Indianola Academy graduate. She played basketballfor Ricky Gray, Barry Gray’s older brother.

Duease played point guard for Mississippi Delta Community Collegebefore transferring to Delta State University where she obtained adegree in physical education and graduated in 1999.

She began her coaching career at Hillcrest Christian as anassistant. She also coached at Sylva Bay Academy in Bay Springs andAll Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg for three years. She washead coach at Greenville Washington School the last five years,competing in North AAA Division II. Her latest edition finished21-12.

“I’m a transition coach,” said Duease. “I like to run thebasketball. I like to get a lot of points from our press. I like tofull-court press when we have the personnel.”

Her father’s brother is Richard Duease, the ultra-successful boysbasketball coach at Madison-Ridgeland Academy.

Her Lady Generals were runners-up in North AAA Division II in 2009.One of her players, Stephanie Fratesi, was North AAA Player of theYear.