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Taft man one of three finalists for NBA Junior Coach of the Year award

Posted at 12:33 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 18:38:44-04


The trip of a lifetime begins today for a Taft man who is up for a big award from the NBA.

Anthony Hernandez is a youth basketball coach in Taft who could see a life-changing event tomorrow.

Announcing the 3 FINALISTS for the 2018-19 #JrNBACOY! The winner will be announced on May 17 at the Jr. NBA Youth Basketball Leadership Conference in Chicago!

Learn more:

Posted by Jr. NBA on Tuesday, May 7, 2019


After being one of 31 nominees for the NBA’s Junior Coach of the Year, Hernandez is now one of three finalists for the national award.

The finalists were voted on by a panel of judges that includes the likes of Dallas Mavericks’ Head Coach Rick Carlisle and ESPN’s Doris Burke.

“To say that I’m one of the top three out of those big cities is something special to me,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez has been coaching youth sports in Taft for years now. He coaches football, baseball and basketball, and his philosophy remains the same in throughout each sport: it’s more than wins and losses.

“We are trying to give a foundation for these kids to believe they can do whatever they want,” Hernandez says.

The two finalists joining Hernandez are from Memphis and New York City. Hernandez has left the state of Texas just once in his life, and he will enjoy every minute of his once in a lifetime experience.

“Being from Taft, it’s something different,” Hernandez said. “It’s not something that comes about everyday.”

As part of the trip to Chicago, Hernandez will also receive $2,500. He plans on putting it toward his community.

And as the day draws near, Hernandez is excited to find out whether or not he’ll win the award, but is more excited to return home, an example in the community.

“I can tell these kids that we walked the same streets and we grew up in the same town,” Hernandez said. “We are going up against New York and Memphis and we’re from Taft, Texas. How cool is that?”

The winner will be announced tomorrow night in Chicago.