Two men you can find in the Arkansas record books, you can now find on the high school sidelines.
“You know a lot of people didn’t know I wanted to get into coaching,” says Ronnie Brewer, who played at Arkansas from 2003-2006.
“That was always probably my #1 choice when thinking about what I wanted to do with life after basketball,” adds Kareem Reid, who played at Arkansas from 1995-1999.
Both Kareem Reid and Ronnie Brewer had professional basketball careers that spanned over a decade. Now it’s time to pay it forward.
“I’ve always volunteered. I’ve always had basketball camps. Iv’e always had a growing passion with it and it was something that I wanted to continue to,” continues Brewer.
Brewer is starting his coaching career where it all began.
“I felt like it was my duty to come back and give these kids hope that, the mountain top is not the University of Arkansas or the college you go to. If you strive for greatness and work hard and continue to work on your craft there is a higher place you can go,” adds Brewer.
He started in the AAU and EYBL circuit, and then landed a job as a volunteer coach at Fayetteville High School.
“It has been a blessing to teach along side these guys and coach at my Alma Mater, and give back to these guys, and push them, and coach them hard, and see the results that they’ve had,” says Brewer.
What’s his role on the staff? Brewer calls it the counselor.
“For me, on the bench, is to be able to talk to those guys, get in their ear and calm them down. Show them what is going on on the court and try to increase their basketball IQ on the bench. And hopefully they can respect it and see it and say ‘Ok, Coach Brewer is coaching us hard because he loves us and he wants us to do well.'”
The path for Kareem Reid mirrors Brewer’s. It was coaching at the AAU level that really fueled the fire to make coaching a full-time career goal.
“Coach Deffebaugh was rewarded the job at Har-Ber, and me on the phone with the AD Wayne Stehlik, and of course spending time with my guy Scotty Thurman really put me in that direction,” says Reid.
The former Hog played for Nolan Richardson in the 90’s, and is using what he gained from him to help mold his own coaching style.
“Basketball meant a lot, but life was real important,” says Reid, “Coach taught me how to live life and, it’s a cycle. Every age group has a different think of basketball and I feel like I can relate to both because I lived in both eras.”
Working with the Wildcats, Reid hopes it will help build his resume to get him to his goal of going back home to work with Mike Anderson at St. Johns.
“Giving the kids back home in the Bronx a vision. That if I can do it, anyone can do it.”
Life after sports isn’t always easy for athletes, but Reid and Brewer are living theirs to the fullest.
“What a dream, you know, for me and Ronnie to come back to the place where we played college ball at and try to change the community, or help the community.,” says Reid.
Seeing him take similar paths I am trying to take, I wish him all the success as possible,” adds Brewer, “Except when we play them in games,” jokes Brewer.