High School Sports

Sports Now podcast: How a prep basketball team rebounded after the death of its coach

Cleveland coach Jeff Davis talks to his team in January. Rams’ coach John Jacobs died six days before the start of the season.
Cleveland coach Jeff Davis talks to his team in January. Rams’ coach John Jacobs died six days before the start of the season. newsobserver.com

On Oct. 24, Cleveland High School boy’s basketball coach John Jacobs died of cancer, just six days before the first day of basketball practice. He was 49.

Throughout the season, the Rams basketball team played in memory of their coach.

Cleveland started the 2017-18 basketball season 1-7, and it looked as if the team would miss the state playoffs. However, the Rams finished the regular season 9-15, including winning their last three games, before winning two games in their conference tournament and losing in the title game.

On Tuesday, Cleveland lost 72-68 to top-seeded Northern Nash in the state playoffs to end its season.

This is a story about how the Rams came together and, despite the odds and the loss of their coach, made their way into the postseason.

On this week’s podcast, we interview N&O high school sports editor J. Mike Blake about the Cleveland High School basketball program’s journey.

More on John Jacobs and Cleveland boys’ basketball

Beloved Cleveland High coach remembered for his toughness and fighting for his students

Cleveland boys basketball still fighting, inspired by team’s late coach

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

Where else can I find the podcast?

You can listen and subscribe to “NandO’s Sports Now Podcast” from any podcast player. For iPhone or iPad users, you can listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts. For Android users you can listen and subscribe on Stitcher.

You can also listen on Soundcloud, TuneIn and Google Play.

Podcasts episodes are uploaded every week on Tuesday. Listen and let us know what you think. Email us at jalexander@newsobserver.com and jpope@heraldsun.com or tweet us at @jonmalexander and @JEPopeIV

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