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Boys Basketball: Easton resigns as Saint James coach

March 11, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

ST. JAMES — Distance became a problem for Paul Easton.

He hasn’t lost the drive to coach basketball, but his drive to get to where he coached basketball was a little much.

Easton resigned as boys basketball coach at Saint James last week following two years of commuting from his home in Herndon, Va.

“Making a commute like this takes a toll on you and your family after two years,” Easton said. “It was a tough decision, with the passion for basketball I have, to make. It was more than just about basketball.”

The Saints finished 13-14 with a toughened schedule this season following a 17-10 record in Easton’s first year after succeeding Mike Brooks.

“It’s unfortunate to lose (Easton),” said athletic director Jim Fahey. “He has a passion for the game and was good with developing players, getting the most and best out of the kids.

The school was abuzz as players like brothers Obi and Nnamdi Enechionyia came on campus two years ago, and the school has been a regular stop this season for Division I college coaches.

“Players like Obi, from where he was when he came here and to what he is ending this year is from (Easton’s) coaching,” Fahey said.

Easton hoped to find employment nearby when he took the position, then move his family to the area.

“My hope was to land a job,” Easton said. “Herndon is 80 to 90 minutes each way.

“It was an enjoyable two years and I think we created a buzz and started to put Saint James back on the map. I truly thank everyone at Saint James and I thank (Goretti coach Amrit Rayfield), who has been a close friend.”

Fahey said a regional search for a new coach will begin immediately.

“We want to get the best possible coach available,” Fahey said. “We want to continue the tradition.”

Obi Enechionyia, a junior, was the Herald-Mail Player of the Year last season and is a candidate once again this year. Nnamdi Enechionyia, a senior, has committed to Samford University.

The brothers transferred to Saint James from Lorton, Va., and South County High School.

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