Anthony Bellino (@Bellino_Anthony)
Cheltenham’s basketball program will usher in a new era for the 2013-14 season with their new head coach, John Timms.
Timms, a 1990 graduate of William Penn High, previously spent six seasons as an assistant at Friends’ Central under Jason Polykoff, where he coached the likes of current Duke Blue Devil Amile Jefferson, among others. As an assistant Timms’ main objective was to develop high school players to reach their full potential.
This will be Timms’ second go-around as a head coach; he was previously the head coach at World Communications Charter before assisting Friends’ Central. Timms is excited to once again be at the helm of a program and be able to run things his way.
“Actually this is better than anything I could’ve imagined, given the size and the demographics,” Timms said of Cheltenham. “I don’t think you could have a better situation combining academics and athletics, we have the opportunity to monopolize a whole area up in that Malvern-Cheltenham area based on the fact that we’re the only public school in the district.”
Timms said that he’ll look for his team to play uptempo and will utilize press defenses to get his team some easy layups in transition. The team will look to use their athleticism on both offense and defense.
“We’re going to play what I would call ‘controlled-chaos,’ I think we’re going to get up-and-down the floor, we’re going to press, we’re going to try and have an up-tempo game but not necessarily a fast-paced game, there’s a little difference,” Timms said. “We’re just going to be very active, I’m going to use their athleticism as much as possible and get them in space on the offensive end and defensively we’re just going to get after the ball.”
High school practices are right around the corner so Timms has a limited amount of time to get to know his kids. He’s been hired for about three weeks–though he waited to make it public until after he’d notified the other coaches–and said he’s working on changing the culture of the program. Timms will bring what he learned as an assistant at Friends’ Central to Cheltenham.
“It’s just basically changing the culture, which is going to take some time, I have to the coaching for those guys to understand how we did things at Friends’ Central and how we really go after the ball,” Timms said. “I think they’re buying into it because I was a former player, I think players can identify players, it’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.
“I think we can do it, I won’t say rapidly but I don’t think it’s going to take as long as many people think.”