Sports

Letter | CCU coach, team give area much to admire

March 12, 2014 

The team congratulates Junior Guard Warren Gillis, who earned both game and tournament MVP. The Coastal Carolina Men's Basketball Team celebrates their triumphant win over the Winthrop Eagles at Sunday's VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship game at The HTC Arena.

MATT SILFER FOR THE SUN NEWS. Buy Photo

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Sports championships are rare. Just ask the Chicago Cub organization.

When any sports team wins a championship, the community should explode in joy. The CCU men's basketball program has brought one to the Grand Stand for the first time in more than 20 years. While the team is a very talented and athletic group of young men, not enough praise can be bestowed upon it coach, Cliff Ellis. After several good years, the team was not expected to have enough experienced and talented players to be competitive. Under the patient and watchful guidance of Cliff Ellis, the team exceeded all expectations.

For those of us who find this brand of basketball very entertaining, the season provided relief from one of our coldest winters. Each game was a battle. Our coach not only directed the team, but he was also the chief and most effective cheerleader on the court. Time and time again he summoned the crowd to its feet to cheer the team. The crowd responded and the players on the court seem to rise above as a result. I can not count the number of times that summonses lead to a incredible defence and missed opportunities by the opposition.

Throughout the ups and down of a long and difficult season, the coach kept his cool, directed his time and demonstrated his love and affection for the young men he led. For a retired couple of Canadian snowbirds it was a pleasure to behold. We do not know Coach Ellis personally, but we have grown to hold so much respect for this man.

CCU and the Grand Strand are very lucky that Cliff Ellis decided to spend his retirement years coaching our team. Thank you Coach Ellis for making our cold and stormy winter one I would have not wanted to miss.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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