Story by Cassie Campise
Veteran basketball coach Art Dye continues to build the basketball program at Benjamin Franklin High School.
A shooting guru and legendary coach in the AAU circuit who has coached big names like Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, the professional shooting coach legend just finished his first season coaching for the Chargers men’s basketball team. The team went 10-7 overall and just missed making the playoffs.
“The kids had a great year,” he said. “Obviously, they were 16 and 19 last year, and this year they were three games over 500, so we got really close to those young men and we can’t wait until next year.”
One of the games that stood out to Dye was the home opener against Gilbert Christan. With grit and determination, the Chargers came back to win 56-50 against the Knights.
Dye said it was a tremendous victory and the team was 5-1 at the time. From there on though, the team faced challenges the rest of the season with COVID-19 and several injuries. Though it wasn’t the outcome they wanted, he still enjoyed this season being with his players six days a week and alongside assistant coach Jonathan Magnus.
“You get to be such a part of them that it’s unreal,” he said. “I mean, that’s the fun part, you get so close to them, and they get close to you and the families and the whole thing, it’s just a whole different world.”
For Magnus, he thought they had a successful season despite the impact COVID-19 had on the team. He said his players gave maximum effort and played harder than any team he has ever been around.
Senior Dayson Blair is one player who embodied how the Chargers played this season by staying physical and diving for every ball that hit the floor.
“That’s the one thing coaches comment on when they are watching film, is that we play very hard,” Magnus said.
Magnus has also enjoyed coaching side-by-side with Dye and learning from him. With Dye’s various experiences working at many different levels with players, he has been able to learn many intricate details of the game.
During the offseason, Dye and Magnus are focusing on the future of the Chargers Basketball program by working with younger players in the program to improve their fundamental skills. Over spring break, they have held open gyms and had varsity players help coach the younger teams.
“What we need to improve on is what Art brings to Benjamin Franklin,” Magnus said. “We have a lot of multi-sport kids, over half of our kids play football and so basketball is not necessarily the main sport.”
Together, Dye and Magnus will look to continue building the basketball program and get better each season.
“You can see why he has had success,” Magnus said. “He’s the most detailed coach I have ever been around.”