Washington assistant Paul Reed is proud to be in Tucson where he built meaningful relationships
Paul Reed looked out his window at the Marriott on campus in Arizona and was moved by what he saw.
“I see over there that I’m here at Tucson High,” said Reed, an assistant basketball coach in Washington, in disbelief. “It’s surreal. You never imagine that. You never thought it would be like that.
“But every year when I come back I say, ‘Oh my god, I’m actually training against the University of Arizona. “
Washington will play Arizona at McKale Center at noon today. Reed returns to Tucson for the fourth time as part of the Huskies.
He was raised by his mother in Tucson Karenwho still lives in the house he grew up in.
“Believe it or not, she has just finished her 40th year as a cashier at Safeway on the West Side,” Reed said. “She is my heart. She taught me work ethic. She taught me how to build relationships and have good relationships with people. “
Paul Reed when he trained at Tucson High from 2005 to 2001 (Andy Morales / AllSportsTucson.com)
Reed, 48, graduated from Amphi High School in 1990 as an outstanding football and basketball player.
Before joining coaching, he worked with the Tucson Urban League to help families in Tucson. He holds up those who helped him establish himself in the community, including the Tucson Urban League Maiola Coleman and Vertie Sparks.
He is grateful to the former assistant director of Tucson High Kathy Thompson offered him the opportunity to begin his coaching career from 2005 to 2011 with the Badgers’ Girls basketball program.
“I’ve had a lot of people who have invested in me and shown me how I feel like I have to do it. You’re my engine, ”said Reed.
Reed initially became involved as a volunteer coaching assistant because of his friendships with coaches in the community such as the Tucson High Coach Jerry Curtis and assistant Earl Leach.
After his hiatus as head coach at Tucson following Curtis’ resignation, Reed coached Cienega from 2012 to 2014.
Paul Reed is in his fourth season as an assistant coach in Washington (Washington Athletics photo)
He led the Badgers to four state tournaments and three regional titles. He trained Cienega to make two appearances in the state tournament. He helped the Bobcats advance to the Division II Finals for the first time in program history.
He finished with a 129-63 overall record at Tucson and Cienega.
“When I first started, I tried to do the AAU course because I was just trying to get into different environments for basketball,” said Reed, who also coached the Tucson Heat Basketball Club for three years. “I started Lady Badger Basketball Camp because I wanted to go back to our middle schools and inspire young women and show them that Tucson High is a good place to go if they want to play basketball.”
Reed developed a friendship with the former Arizona coach Niya Butts because of its visibility with local youth basketball development. This led to him personally coaching some of their basketball players.
The encounter with college athletes coupled with his friendship with the Tucson High Star Rashida Jeffery helped train him to the next level.
Paul Reed when he trained at Cienega (Cienega photo)
After her career with the Badgers from 1988 to 1992 Jeffery played at USC, where Washington was coach Jody Wynn and her husband Derek were assistant coaches.
“Jody and Rashida are best friends. After my freshman year at Tucson High, Rashida was able to connect me with Jody and her husband at USC and I got the chance to work at their elite camp that summer,” said Reed. “It was a great experience. It was an opportunity for me to see top players on the west coast.
“It was also an opportunity for me to see what a college environment was like. Just being able to work with the kids who were in a high level camp – there were a lot of great athletes – was a great experience for me as a coach. “
The relationship between the Wynns and Reed continued to grow, leading to his being hired as an assistant coach at Long Beach State in 2014.
Reed moved to Washington with the Wynns in 2017 after Jody Wynn was hired as a replacement Jim neighborswho went to Arkansas to train there. They took over the Husky program a year later Adia Barnes left this program as an assistant to become head coach in Arizona, her alma mater.
Prior to that season, Reed was named the Huskies’ recruiting coordinator.
“I’ve been blessed along the way because it’s about relationships and connecting with people who are unique,” Reed said. “My relationship with Jody developed for nine or ten years before I started training with her in Long Beach state.
“I am now in a situation where Jody and Derek are allowing me to gain hands-on experience in recruiting, skills development, academics, and anything else that assistant coaches can do. I like this experience that this is my first year as a recruiting coordinator. I’m still trying to master this. “
Reed also discussed the relationships he had built around the game in Tucson as main drivers of development. He rattled off a list of names, including Pima Trainer Todd Holthaus, Tucson High Boys coach Eric Langford, Sahuaro trainer Steve Botkin and Mountain View Boys Trainers Corey Duck.
“I’ve always been tutored by mom, never forget where you’re from,” said Reed. “I always try to use any coaches I’ve either faced or had a good relationship with just to get in touch with them. I have been blessed to work with many great people who have given me the opportunity to grow, and who have shown me the way and empowered me. “
Reed believes that even though he no longer trains in Tucson, he can still have an impact on the lives of those involved in basketball.
“Being away from Tucson,” he said, “I think it’s my opportunity to show the young adults and young children out there that hard work and relationships can accomplish anything you set out to do.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com Editor, Author, and Editor Javier Morales is a past Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former beat reporter for the Arizona Daily Star for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the NCAA title in 1996-97. He has written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, the Republic of Arizona, Sporting News, and Baseball America, among others. He is also the author of the book The Highest Form of Living, which is available on Amazon.