Ware went to top quickly with Brady

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 5, 2000

Reggie Ware is not surprised to see John Brady take a team from last place to first place. LSU’s win over Ole Miss Saturday tied LSU with Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky for the overall SEC&160;championship after the Tigers won the SEC&160;West outright earlier in the week.

Ware was part of a John Brady Samford team that won its conference title after the previous team finished in the cellar.

&uot;He’s a great recruiter,&uot; Ware said of Brady. &uot;That’s his strong point – recruiting. He’s got some talented players.&uot;

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Ware said Brady faced the same type of problem at Samford that he did at LSU.

&uot;The year before I got there (1993) they were 9-17 and only had six or seven players that were eligible,&uot; he said. &uot;Some were hurt and others were not academically eligible.&uot;

Ware, who attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College for two years before going on to Samford, said the Birmingham, Ala., school was picked to finish last in its conference his first year.

&uot;We ended up first both years I was there,&uot; he said.

Ware said another reason for Brady’s success is the coaches he has around him.

&uot;He’s got a great surrounding cast,&uot; Ware said. &uot;That’s a big thing and I think a major part of their success.&uot;

Ware compares Brady to former LSU coach Dale Brown in one way — motivation.

&uot;Coach Brady is a good motivator,&uot; Ware said. &uot;When you can motivate the type of talent he has, your team can go a long way.&uot;

Ware said a big test for Brady will be the NCAA Tournament.

&uot;That’s when everybody really comes on,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ll have to see how well his players aheed to his motivational speeches then.&uot;

Ware said LSU may not advance far at the NCAA Tournament this year, but the possibility of reaching the final 16 could be there in the future.

&uot;It depends on how much the players want it and if Stromile (Swift) stays,&uot;&160;Ware said. &uot;If he (Brady) can get a couple of more good players, they might be able to come back and do just as well.&uot;

Ware admits his relationship with Brady was not always positive. He felt at times he should have been playing more.

Ware also saw Brady cross paths with a few coaches, such as he has done at LSU with the likes of Arkansas’ Nolan Richardson, who was upset when Brady commented about how times have changed when his Arkansas team held the ball to keep LSU from scoring 100

&uot;A lot of them didn’t say anything until after he left Samford,&uot; Ware said. &uot;It’s just his demeanor. I don’t think he means to be that way. Sometimes you can be defensive. You either like him or you don’t.&uot;

Ware said Brady is definitely a good coach.

&uot;But he’s not the best I had, that would be Coach (Mike) Martin at Natchez High,&uot; Ware said. &uot;But as far as looking out for the players off the court or something like getting tutors for us, he’s good at that.&uot;

Ware lives Birmingham with his wife Nikki, 5-year-old daugther Imani and 13-mont old son Jordan, who is wearing a 4T shoe.

He teaches at Hemphill Elementary and is currently getting his Master’s at Alabama State to be a guidance counselor.

He runs a basketball camp and works with inter-city kids and helps out with the state boys camp.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Ware is going to Portland at the end of this month and try out for a spot on an NBA-sponsored team.

&uot;I’ve been working out and playing in a league with some former collegiate players,&uot; Ware said.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at joey.martin@natchezdemocrat.com.