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Whitewater basketball teams 'Do it for Coach Chalk'
By Kennington Smith
Whitewater Class of 2013
On January 10, 2013 Whitewater High School experienced its greatest loss in school history and it wasn’t in sports. Assistant basketball coach Noah Chalkley died of a heart attack sending shock waves through Fayette County.
“Coach Noah Chalkley was not only one of the greatest coach I’ve ever had but he’s one of the people who I thank God for letting me meet” said senior guard Junaid Olusesi.
There are countless other players across the county that not only felt the effects of Coach Chalkley, the coach but also Noah Chalkley, the man. He is survived by his wife of 31 years and two children. Though his passing devastated many, the Wildcats season has a new purpose - win for Coach Chalkley.
The Whitewater community has also stepped up to honor their fallen coach. Across social media people began to reach out to the Chalkley family and share their favorite memories about Coach Chalkley. Before long the hashtag #DoItForChalk was a trending topic on Twitter.
For the home game the following day against Northgate a pink-out was organized as Chalkley often wore pink to show support for his wife’s battle with cancer. In addition a silent night was also planned in which nobody in the stands would make a sound until the 10th point and then go crazy. Behind the inspired play of Olusesi, Darius Sharpe, and Phillip Cofer the boys varsity team defeated Northgate, Jada Coggins lead the girls varsity team to a 36 point victory over the Lady Vikings in her first game back from a torn ACL. Not only did the varsity teams win but every other Whitewater basketball team won that day.
A few days later the Wildcats won another emotional game. It was an important game in the region and they did it for Coach Chalkley once again. In a 75-71 win over Creekside Olusesi turned in what was his most impressive game as a Wildcat with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks, while Cofer had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Darius Sharpe was also sensational with 15 points. Sophomore guard Rena Jenkins had 13 points, four assists and two steals to lead the Lady Wildcats to a win as well.
Though themes to honor Coach Chalkley are done for now the Wildcats are still finding ways to make sure his legacy lasts. There are donations being taken at Wells Fargo bank for his scholarship fund and Lady Cats junior guard Imani Crumpton is in the process of designing t-shirts to honor him.
Coach Chalkley will always be remembered not only for his stellar coaching on the court but the love and encouragement he gave his players off the court.
No matter what lies ahead of the Wildcats for the rest of the season they will do it for Coach Chalk.