MOUNT CARMEL -- Wabash Valley College will be tasked with replacing another coach, this time on the men's side.
Wabash Valley College Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Shea Sumpter announced on Twitter on Sunday evening his intention to return to his alma mater, Rich East High School in Park Forest, Ill., just on the outskirts of Chicago.
Sumpter will be joining Rich East with another alum and former teammate, Jamere Dismukes, who was named as head coach of the Rockets on June 19. Dismukes is replacing NBA champion Craig Hodges, another Rich East alum, who won two NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in his ten year NBA career. Hodges abruptly resigned on Dec. 22, 2017, allowing his son, Jamaal Hodges to fill in as the interim coach prior to Dismukes' hiring.
The pair starred for the 2008-09 Rockets, a season in which Rich East was ranked top five in the state of Illinois, won the SICA South Conference and the Regional Championship.
They'll be looking to help the Rockets return to such glory, as the program finished just 11-15 last season.
Sumpter was entering his fourth year as a member of the Warriors staff, joining the program after reconnecting with his former head coach, Mike Carpenter, who he played under and enjoyed tremendous success with at Danville Area Community College, earning M-WAC Player of the Year honors and helping Danville advance to the NJCAA National tournament.
After leaving Danville, Sumpter continued his career at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he graduated with a Bachelor's in Liberal Studies. Carpenter had told Sumpter he'd hire him as an assistant once he graduated college and laughingly recalled Sumpter texting him, "You have my job yet?" shortly after graduating from UMSL.
"I'm very happy for Shea," Carpenter spoke of Sumpter. "He has the unique opportunity to go back to his alma mater with his best friend and former teammate, Jamere, and work together to bring the program to its hayday when they played at Rich East. Shea really did a lot for our program both on and off the court. He was well-liked by our campus and community, and did a great job recruiting his character kids."
Sumpter said back in November that his primary goal in his coaching career was to continue to help the aspiring youth, on the court and in the classroom. Such selflessness makes his move to his alma mater a no-brainer, as he's now closer to his hometown community. He's previously aided kids in his community in getting scholarships, basketball and academic through his organization, We Help Lives Save Lives.
"I have a goal to coach for the rest of my life," Sumpter said to the Register back in November. "I want to help as many kids as possible. I want to help over 100 kids graduate from college, gain scholarships, play basketball, help them become the next CEO, the next NBA player, the next engineer, the next music artist, whatever it takes to help them gain a better opportunity in life and give back to their families or help the next man. That's my primary career goal, just to coach as many years as I can because I feel like the more I coach, the more lives I can affect and help. I think that would be my ultimate goal."
In his three years as assistant coach, the Warriors were 69-27.