Head Coach Kevin Waters
Jacksonville Giants Head Coach Kevin Waters was born in Bedford, VA, and grew up in Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta where he was a multi-dimensional athlete. I wanted to be a football player, he says, but his skill in basketball took him to the next level. At Virginia Western Community College he led his team to a state championship and was named Offensive Player of the Year. The next year he went to Fisk University to become a three-year-letterman, leading the team in assists from 1993-96. Waters deadly jumper led the semi-pro Charlotte Royals in 3-point shots during their 96-97 season, and afterward he became involved in the development of basketball teams.
Over the years Coach Waters has helped to build winning teams at Kennesaw State and Murray State Universities. He has also been involved with several ABA teams and his own WBA Jacksonville Blue Waves which was poised to play a second season before he was approached by team owner Ron Sholes to join a not-yet-named ABA franchise. Waters leadership and coaching experience with the Jacksonville Giants were key in molding the future ABA Champions through their first regular season with an amazing 23-0 record and a trip to the ABA Final Four in Texas.
The 2011-2012 season saw his efforts culminate in a second trip to the ABA Final Four and the 2012 ABA National Championship. Capping off a fantastic season, Coach Waters was named 2011-12 ABA Coach of the Year. Now, with several new players on the team, the soft-spoken coach faces the challenge of defending the Giants ABA title and maintaining the level of quality sports that Jacksonville Giants fans have come to expect.
Coach Waters resides in Jacksonville with his wife, Chantell, and their family. Mrs. Waters holds a Masters Degree in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State and works as the Events Coordinator for the Womens Center at the University of North Florida. Chantell Waters also worked as the former Executive Director of Focus on Flagler Youth Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk children.
Assistant Coach Dave Graham
Coach Graham is all about hard work. Hes a very energetic young coach, says Giants Head Coach Kevin Waters of his second-in-command. Born Dec. 1, 1980 at a U. S. base in Heidelburg, Germany, the former "Army brat" knows how to hit the ground running. "My dad was in the Army so we moved around a lot, Dave recalls. And as they changed locations, Graham says one thing was constant for him: Basketball. Eventually his family returned to the U. S. for duty near Columbus, GA. As the transfer from middle school to high school came about, so did another transition. Grahams dad retired from active duty in the Jacksonville area and placed Dave in Middleburg High School.
Grahams next step became his first tie to the Jacksonville Giants. He played basketball at Edward Waters College under an up-and-coming young Assisant Coach named Kevin Waters. Graham says he learned a lot from Waters and looked up to him. Hes like a big brother to me, smiles Dave.
Grahams team at EWC went on to the national tournament twice between 2000 and 2001. After his college playing days were over, Graham worked with the YMCA for several years then followed in Water coaching footsteps. Dave went on to coach at Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, FL, Edward Waters College, and that at Hiwassee College of Tennessee to their first ever national tournament berth at the USCAA. When Coach Waters decided to join the future ABA Jacksonville Giants, he didn't have too far for a qualified assistant coach. Dave Graham jumped at the opportunity to work with his friend in building a new team from the ground up.
Graham and his wife, Erica, reside in Jacksonville. A graduate of Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, Mrs. Graham received her Bachelors Degree in Biology from Florida A & M University. She currently works as an analyst at an environmental testing lab. Erica is also co-owner of ESSqueProductions.com, an event and planning company.
Assistant Coach Jerry Mouse Williams
Assistant Coach Williams, born in New Jersey, moved to Jacksonville as a teenager. As a student at Englewood High School, Jerry was a basketball and football standout, earning a scholarship to play both sports at South Carolina State University. Following a transfer to the University of Cumberlands, he earned a business degree then decided to pursue a career in professional basketball in Europe.
Williams played overseas from 2001-2007 before returning to Jacksonville to play for the Jacksonville Jam, followed by a stint with the Jacksonville Blue Waves, a WBA team developed by Coach Kevin Waters. Sidelined with a nagging knee injury, Williams made the transition from player to assistant coach with the newly-formed Jacksonville Giants. Mouse is a teacher of the game and the players respond well to him. Hes a big part of our success the past two seasons, affirms Head Coach Waters.
Jerry Williams says he feels honored to be a part of the Giants organization, and he loves the opportunity to move his coaching career forward. He is also head coach of the 17U All-Star Giants AAU basketball team. he started the program in 2011 as a way for local high school players to gain national exposure. Williams brother, NFL Jacksonville Jaguars player Rashean Mathis, was the primary sponsor of the endeavor. Williams passion for developing middle and high school players is evident in his efforts. When you play for an AAU team you give yourself the experience and the exposure that college recruiters seek, says Williams.