USC student finds passion in coaching
University of South Carolina Senior Corbin Landers always had a strong passion and love for basketball. He always knew his love for the game would guide him to great opportunities. Even as a high school player, he knew that basketball would have a major impact on his life. Now, he is a full-time student and is entering his second season as an assistant head coach at Ridge View High School. He was introduced to coaching in the summer of 2013 at his local YMCA in Summerville. Beginning with the summer league team, practices were simple, but it was enough for Landers to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a coach. “It was the first time I was really able to work with others and teach the game of basketball. I really enjoyed the process so much,” says Landers. After coaching recreation basketball for two years, Landers would become a student manager for the men’s basketball team at USC in 2015. Under head coach Frank Martin, Corbin learned the small elements of coaching. Those skills included networking and communicating with others. “At the collegiate level, you see a drastic change in how you approach the game. A coach like Frank [Martin] has a deep connection for basketball. What I would see from him, day in and day out, learning from him made my passion for coaching grow stronger and stronger.” Landers spent two years as a team manager. One of his best moments as a coach was the Final Four in 2016. The Gamecocks would play their way to Phoenix, Arizona. Appearing in their first final appearance in school history. The joy of being a part of an historic run was very fulfilling for him. “I loved every moment of it. I still relive that epic run like it was yesterday.” He would later helped manage Coach Dawn Staley’s Team during it’s summer practice sessions. Landers praises Staley and her impact on women’s basketball. “She incredible. Her coaching style. Her knowledge for the game. Is remarkable. Amazing how many people she has impacted throughout her time here at South Carolina. Not just women but men as well,” say Landers. Fast forward to August 2017, when Landers became a full-time assistant coach for the Ridge View High School boys’ junior varsity and varsity basketball teams. Right away, he made a major impact on the players and coaching staff. Junior Varsity Head Coach Christian Savage noticed how well he connected with the players. “He shows a more deeper connection with the players, Savage said. When you have a common interest with the players, you tend to form a closer bond outside the gym.” Landers embraced the role of being a leader. With him being the youngest of three siblings in his own family, he was eager to accept this role of big brother. “These players really trust him. Our seniors will ask him for advice about college. Not just from an athlete’s standpoint but what to expect as a student,” say Savage. Ridge View Senior Malcolm Wilson is headed to Georgetown University next fall. Even with a year left until he’s officially a college student, he says Landers is really mentoring him and helping him prepare for life as a college athlete. “He’s really been a big help for me. Coach Landers always reminds me that basketball is a privilege and that it all starts in the classroom first,” says Wilson. With being a coach, you must understand the game. The “ins and outs.” What is pick and roll? What is an off-ball screen. What is a motion offense? Landers indeed knows the game. During his spare time, he often draws diagrams on a sheet of paper. Whenever he has the time, he is always enhancing his basketball knowledge to become a better. “He is a guy who want to keep learning and learning. During practice, he is even more focused than I am sometimes, says Savage” That shows how much time he puts in. Wanting to get better. Wanted to help make our players better,” says Head Varsity Coach Yerrick Stoneman, who praises Corbin’s work ethic every day at practice. Repetition is a key contribution to why Corbin is steady improving. There are no off-days for this aspiring coach. His goal is to become the best coach possible. Always leaning and inspiring to help others. Landers has many coaching idols such as Frank Martin, NBA Head Coach Brad Stevens, but his biggest role model is his father. “He still pushed me to this day. Giving me as much advice as possible. My father understands how important this really means to me. His support means everything.” The Ridge View Blazers would finished 2017 with a record of 21-7. Ranking number five in the state of South Carolina. Advancing to 4A Boys State Championship game defeating Wilson High School to secure the school’s first championship title. Landers stated that this is his greatest moment as a assistant coach. “To be a part of that journey. To see the emotions on their faces. Knowing how hard these kids worked night in and night out. It’s an unbelievable feeling that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.” This is just the beginning for Coach Landers as he embarks on this journey in his life,” said Landers. He would not trade this profession for the world. Even with all the success and accolades that comes with it, it’s not the most important thing. What’s important is the life lessons he teaches to his players. His biggest strength as a coach is motivating young men. He teaches them that basketball is not just a game, but a way of life.