Kelvin Drakeford '08
Coach Kelvin Drakeford ‘08, Head Coach of varsity girls basketball and Lower School Physical Education Teacher, is entering his eleventh season at Cannon and his sixth season as Director of the girls basketball program. Previously, he spent five seasons with the Cannon boys basketball program as the Junior Varsity Head Coach and Varsity Assistant.
A Cannon alumnus, Coach Drakeford competed for the cougars and went on to play for Catawba College. He believes in giving players confidence, leading with love, teaching with purpose, expecting greatness, and turning failure into growth. We sat down with Coach Drakeford to hear more about his time in the Cannon family.
What is your favorite Cannon memory?
One of my favorite Cannon memories is from my senior year. At the all-school assembly, my friends and I had Mr. Gossage come up and do the Soulja Boy “Crank That” dance in front of the entire school. It was such a cool moment for Mr. Gossage to do that.
The other memory that will always hold the place in my heart is coaching the girls basketball program to the first-ever state championship win at Cannon School. We were able to play that game on our home court and celebrate with friends and family.
What brings you the most joy in coaching our girls basketball team?
The biggest joy I get from coaching the girls basketball team is being involved in the year-round development process. Success doesn’t happen overnight. I enjoy seeing our players put in work as a team to reach our common goals during the regular season, November through February. Once the regular season is over, they strive for growth as individuals from March through October. I take pride in seeing our players develop into good people. The lessons that we learn on the court can always be applied off the court as well.
What Cannon Core Value resonates with you the most?
Passion, without a doubt. I have a passion for teaching and seeing the “ah ha” moment when it finally clicks. I have a passion for coaching basketball and helping players develop their skills and reach their goals.
What is your favorite thing about your children attending Cannon?
My favorite thing about my children attending Cannon is that they absolutely love going to school. My oldest son, KJ, looks forward to being at school with his friends and teachers everyday. His experience with his teachers has been amazing. They have been kind and caring, and they push him to grow as an individual in all areas of his life. My middle child, Liam, will be starting in Junior Kindergarten this fall, and I look forward to being able to see him blossom in the hands of lower school teachers and while teaching him in PE.
Who is your role model?
I can’t pinpoint one specific role model. My parents instilled hard work in me. They worked to give me the opportunity to attend Cannon when I was in high school, and that has taken me a long way. My high school basketball coach, Ron Johnson, helped develop me into a young man that was prepared to take academics head on and play college basketball at the same time. Jim Baker, my coach at Catawba College, helped prepare me for life after basketball. Ché Roth is one of my closest friends and colleagues at Cannon. He has been a great shoulder to lean on and has helped guide me into being the man, father, husband, and coach I am today.
What do you hope is your legacy at Cannon?
When I think about my legacy, I hope people remember me as authentic. One of the best things about Cannon’s community is that they have allowed me to be myself as a student, coach, and teacher. As a coach, the wins and accolades are cool, but they don’t define me. I am relational, passionate, and kind. When it is all said and done, I hope people say that I cared about Cannon and that I wanted the absolute best for this place.