WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It didn't take the players on the Ashley High School basketball team long to figure out that Screaming Eagles first-year head coach Wells Gulledge is the real deal.
"The fact that he's been in the state playoffs, won a state playoff, made us want to play better and impress," said Ashley senior Isaiah Houston.
"He's coached a lot of top-ranked guys," Ashley senior Elijah Robinson said, "and sent a lot to the next level, and that makes a big difference."
Gulledge is perhaps best known for his time at Kinston High School, where he coached future NBA players Brandon Ingram and Reggie Bullock. He also helped lead the Vikings to three state championships in a four-year period.
"When it comes to the state championships and all the great players, you just cherish those memories," said Gulledge. "But these guys (at Ashley) are the most important guys in my life right now."
Prior to coming to Ashley, Gulledge had a 345-115 record. While he says the wins are nice, they aren't the most important thing.
"We are in the teaching business first. We are in a coaching business second," said Gulledge. "Along the way, it's all about the kids once they put the ball down, and the relationships they are forming right now."