Huckaby hired as Duluth hoops coach

Duluth athletic director Denny Lytle certainly can vouch for the Wildcats' new hire as head girls basketball coach - he used to coach him.

Jeremy Huckaby, a 1993 Shiloh graduate who played basketball there for Lytle, was selected to head the Duluth girls basketball program on Friday. The 32-year-old has been an assistant boys basketball coach at Grayson since the school opened in 2000.

"(Duluth principal Pat Blenke) and I liked his experience and his obvious dedication to the game," Lytle said. "We believe he can take these girls to the next level. They're a great group."

Its the first head coaching job for Huckaby, who replaces Shane Roughton. Roughton is no longer at Duluth as a teacher or coach, and the school had to fill the position quickly after it came open only two weeks ago.

Huckaby plans to meet his assistant coaches on Sunday to discuss personnel, tryout schedules and other issues. He will meet his players on Monday, the first day the Georgia High School Association allows practice for this season.

"It's been a dizzying few hours since I got word (that I got the job)," Huckaby said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity. I'm looking forward to getting this thing rolling.

"I know we have a lot of young kids who got experience last year and I think we can build on that."

Duluth's girls team went winless in 2004-2005, but it showed great progress last season, going 9-18 against a tough Region 7-AAAAA schedule. The Wildcats return four starters - Mykala Walker, Daphne Adebayo, Laurie Thomas and Breona Udofia - from the 2005-2006 team.

"I'm excited, but we do have a lot of work to do," Huckaby said. "We have to establish a team at all three levels and put in a new offensive and defensive system in about two weeks. We've got a lot to do, but I'm excited about the challenge."