Longtime Indiana coach is the new DCA boys coach

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Shawn Busick wants to see what it’s like.

A longtime coach in Indiana, Busick has admired Kentucky high school basketball from a distance. Now he’ll get a chance to experience it firsthand as the boys basketball coach at Danville Christian.

A series of changes in Busick’s life makes this the ideal time for him to try something new, and he said he’s excited about the opportunity to coach in Kentucky, to live out his faith in his work and to continue to grow the program at DCA.

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“I think Kentucky is a great basketball state,” Busick said. “I’ve already coached in a great state, and I’m looking forward to coaching in a great state.”

Busick has spent 31 years as a coach and 33 years as a teacher in Indiana, and he is retiring from teaching at the end of the current school year. His only child, who played for him this season at Greensburg (Ind.), is moving on to college basketball at Cincinnati-Clermont.

He began looking on the KHSAA website for jobs at Kentucky schools in the greater Cincinnati area before the opening at DCA caught his eye. With no connections to DCA or the area, Busick applied and was hired earlier this month.

“It’s a little further away (from Cincinnati), obviously, but I did a little research … and I called about it. I believe the Lord works in many different ways,” he said. “With all the changes that are going on, we just felt like it’d be a good time to do this. And doubly good is that it’s a Christian school.”

He made his first visit to Danville when he came to interview with DCA athletic director David Lamb and headmaster Chris Holderman.

“We really connected, and I felt like I connected with the (hiring) committee they put together,” Busick said. “They shared my heart for ministry, and being able to combine my passions of my faith and basketball was great for us.”

In its announcement, DCA said Busick “brings over three decades of coaching experience and a passion for excellence both on and off the court.”

“He is dedicated to fostering not only championship-level teams but also championship-level individuals,” the school’s statement said. “Using his highly successful “Skills Academy,” Coach Busick has established and enhanced basketball programs from kindergarten through 12th grade in his previous coaching roles.”

Busick replaces Don Story, who was fired earlier this month after six seasons at the school.

Busick met with his players for the first time last week, and he’s trying to relocate with wife Cathy and put together a coaching staff even as he prepares to work with the team this summer.

He inherits a team that went 25-7 this season before a triple-overtime loss in the semifinals of the 12th Region Tournament. The Warriors are expected to return five of the top eight players from that team.

“Certainly we’re going to have some changes, but I’ve watched them play a little bit on tape and I thought coach Story did a great job with them,” he said. “We want to take up the baton and continue to improve on that.”

Busick has a career record of 454-258 at eight Indiana schools. He went 18-8 and won a conference title in his only season at Greensburg.

He led Bellmont to the state finals in 2004, finishing as the Class 3A runner-up, and he has won 10 conference titles, seven sectional titles and one regional title. He also has coached at Argos, North Knox, Crown Point, Zionsville, Covington and Traders Point Christian.

He has coached more than 30 players who went on to play college basketball, including 15 who played at the Division I level, and he has coached five Indiana All-Stars.

Busick’s mother is originally from Harlan County, and he has attended Kentucky’s Sweet 16 state tournament several times and enjoyed watching Harlan County’s run to the championship game this season.

Kentucky is one of only two states, along with Delaware, in which there is a single-class system for basketball – Indiana switched from one class to four after the 1996-97 season – and he said he looks forward to being part of that.

“We absolutely have a great deal of respect for Kentucky high school basketball,” he said. “It’s just a really, really great place with great tradition.”

Busick, who will teach English and physical education at DCA, also said he looks forward to working at a Christian school again. He spent two years at Traders Point Christian near Indianapolis.

“I enjoyed not only the basketball aspect and the Christian aspect, but also leading the young men through a relationship with Christ was a lot of fun,” he said.

Busick said he has coached small teams and big teams, and he’s excited about the chance to coach a DCA team with two players, Lual Ayiei and Geu Ateny, over 6-10.

“I try to adapt to the talent,” he said. “I’ve got experience coaching bigs, but I haven’t coached anybody this big in quite a few years.”

He said his first priority with the Warriors will be building relationships with the players.

“I want them to get to know me, but more importantly, I want to get to know them,” he said. “I’ve been around this game long enough to know the teams that are the most connected are the most successful as well.”

He said he would love to help the Warriors achieve their goal of getting to Rupp Arena and the Sweet 16 for the first time.

“(That) would be amazing, especially having the history I have with my mom,” Busick said. “But more than anything, I’m just excited to build those relationships with the kids, and then to work on my favorite thing, the preparation. We want to work on getting ourselves to be the best team we can be, come March.”