Northwestern Press

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Whitehall grad Lloyd takes over boys hoops

Thursday, May 21, 2020 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Jerry Lloyd had a standout high school basketball career at Whitehall High School in the 1990s. He scored over 1,500 points and was an East Penn Conference Most Valuable Player on teams that won two conference championships and a District 11 championship.

In that district championship game, Lloyd hit a game-winning three-pointer with time running out to beat Parkland in five overtimes. After high school, Lloyd attended Mount St. Mary’s and is fifth all-time in three-pointers at the school.

When his playing days ended, Lloyd went into coaching and served as an assistant at DeSales University. He also coached at Bethlehem Catholic, Easton and Northampton. His first head coaching job came with Phillipsburg High School, where he spent the past three seasons.

As comfortable as he was at Phillipsburg, Lloyd kept an eye open for an opportunity to coach closer to home in the Lehigh Valley. When Billy Hallman stepped down at Northwestern Lehigh, Lloyd did some quick investigating and decided it was the perfect opportunity.

“I think it’s an attractive job, because like in Phillipsburg, there is a lot of community involvement and they realize that sports matter,” said Lloyd, who knows a little about Colonial League basketball through his dad, Kevin, who was an assistant at Pen Argyl. “I loved being in Phillipsburg. The kids were great, and it was a tough decision to leave, but Northwestern truly is a great opportunity for me.”

Everyone that Lloyd spoke to gave him a good scouting report on the type of players that he’ll find at Northwestern, which was another reason why he feels the job is so attractive.

“As a coach, all you can ask for is to have kids that will give you an honest effort and do what you ask,” said Lloyd. “Everyone told me that the kids at Northwestern fit that description perfectly.”

Of course, like every other high school sport, exactly what lies ahead for Lloyd and his players is a question mark. Normally, the Tigers would be engaged in camps and tournaments over the summer, but those plans might not come about this offseason. How the time between now and the start of the basketball season plays out will determine Lloyd’s approach to how he coaches his new team.

“Obviously, if we can’t get on a court this summer and get time to work on things, it wouldn’t be fair to try to change a lot of things that they’ve been doing there, so we would have to scale back any changes,” said Lloyd. “If we can get together and work on some things, there are some things that I would like to do differently.”

As for what might change, Lloyd would like to use more of a motion offense. Defensively, he plans to mix up his defensive sets. Exactly what he does and how he executes things will be determined by how he assesses the player’s ability to play in those situations.

“I don’t know a lot about all of the kids, so I have to see what they can adapt to and make our plans fit the personnel that we have,” said Lloyd. “It’s going to be up to the players on how we can make these things work.”

Lloyd’s Phillipsburg team struggled through a 5-20 record this past season, but in his three years as the Stateliners coach, Lloyd finished with a 40-38 record. He takes over for Hallman, who finished his six-year stint with the Tigers at 63-75, taking his teams to three District 11 playoff tournaments.