Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor spends part of his time coaching youth basketball. (Source: WMBF News)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The police chief for the town of Atlantic Beach traded in his badge for a basketball to coach in a recent tournament.
For Timothy Taylor, this is much more than a volunteer coaching gig; it is about bringing kids from all over the Grand Strand together as a team, just like the community needs to come together with law enforcement.
“This is something that I choose to do, to coach AAU Basketball with the Manzer organization, to give me the opportunity to teach the kids about life, to let them know that all law enforcement officers aren't bad people," Taylor said. "I mean, we're all good people just trying to help people.”
Taylor was busy pacing the sidelines for his team of middle school players on Wednesday. The kids sometimes forget he is a police chief because, to them, he’s “coach” and he plays to win.
“It feels cool. He works us hard and he does what he does to win,” said Alex McGillicuddy, a North Myrtle Beach middle schooler.
As the players left their hearts on the court, Taylor guided them to play as a team. He pointed out no one player can do it alone.
For Taylor, spending time with the players is an opportunity to clarify anything they may hear about police officers and what is happening in the community.
“They ask a lot of crazy questions. I do my best to answer them and to tell them the truth about things and about life,” he said.
Most importantly, he said his role as a coach is to show them that police officers are human too.
“That’s what it's all about, showing them that we've got families and we can come together and get along with them and love them,” Taylor said
Off the court, Taylor is making it a point this summer to attend community events. He believes it is these connections that will keep children on the right track so when they are old enough to make serious decisions, they make the right one.
“The kids are the future," he said. "It starts at a young age and teaching them right from wrong and leading them the way. I mean, we have to show them the way if they are going to be successful.”
Though the team may have lost on Wednesday, they still shared the ball and enjoyed playing as a team.
“He loves them, man. He loves them,” McGillicuddy said.