COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Coaches in athletics have a unique opportunity to unite and bring people together beyond the locker room. Murray Garvin, South Carolina State’s head men’s basketball coach, makes that his mission.
Joe Gorchow shares his purpose beyond the court. And how recent national events inspire him to do even more for his community in Orangeburg.
In his conversation with coach Murray Garvin, he detailed how the foundation of sports greatly influenced his life.
“It’s allowed me to work with different people and with people from all around the world,” said Garvin.
A collaboration of minds and diverse thoughts united under one purpose on the collegiate level.
“To win and to graduate,” Garvin emphasized. “You need your teammate to do that.”
As a coach, players will look to him for guidance on overcoming racially charged stereotypes.
“Breaking the stereotypes of young black males and even as athletes,” mentioned Garvin. “We are capable of taking care of our families, being productive citizens, and being cornerstones within our communities.”
Garvin says, at times, negative stereotypes can leave African American males to feel powerless.
“We’ve learned to deal with it,” Garvin said. “We all want to have the opportunity and not feel like we got something on our necks saying we can’t get here, or this is as far as you can go.”
The 46-year-old Garvin grew up in a small Kentucky town. As a child, playing basketball at a local park one day, the Klu Klux Klan marched and convened right across the street for a rally.
“It was one of the most intense times in my life,” said Garvin. He added, “I’ve played basketball games where people had dolls on a noose before.”
The Pikeville native says his experience with prejudice directed at him because of his skin color became a part of life.
I asked coach Garvin if he has become numb to it. He answered, "you do."
Garvin, a father of two daughters, encourages the younger generation not to become numb to social inequities, prejudice, and police brutality.
"It's critical," said Garvin. "It has to stop."
Garvin challenges himself to do more within the Orangeburg community to unite and help people of all races.
”Pursue the best society we can have,” Garvin said. “And, we have to understand one cannot do it without the other.”
Garvin adds he hopes 2020 will be a landmark year for change and growth as a nation.