Javelinas coach Estelle teaches his players about the lessons of life

Johnny Estelle
Posted at 9:58 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:42:47-05

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The Texas A&M University-Kingsville javelinas are off to another hot start in men's basketball, winning six of their first eight games.

But for head coach Johnny Estelle, the goal is more than just winning games: He said he wants his players to win big in the lessons of life.

He meets individually with players daily to talk about what it takes to be a great man.

"You have to have young men that see themselves as more than just basketball players to be successful," he said. "At the end of the day, when the basketball stops bouncing ,they have to be successful in life and whatever they choose."

Estelle knows firsthand, because he is a former Javelinas player himself. He graduated in 1994 after breaking all the school's 3-point records.

He has earned his players' respect, and they all soak in everything he teaches.

"From the moment I arrived here, he has always emphasized getting a college degree and working on becoming a better man outside of basketball," said Javelinas guard Creighton Avery. "He tells us the translation to being a winner is the same in athletics as it is in everyday life,"

Avery's mom Cheryl Fillmore is the athletics director at West Oso, and she says Estelle easily won her over. She said she feels very comfortable knowing her son is well taken care of.

"I was very observant during our visit to TAMUK, and just listening to what coach Estelle had to say, and instantly I knew that he was a person I would not mind putting my child in his care," said Fillmore.

The Javelinas play at St. Edwards on Saturday.