Vacher Hammett takes over as Troup boys basketball coach

Published 6:10 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

The Troup boys basketball team has a third different head coach in as many years this season as first-year head coach Vacher Hammett takes the reins.

Hammett is no stranger to basketball in the area as he previously served as the Long Cane head coach prior to taking the head coaching position at Troup. He also played at LaGrange High and LaGrange College in his younger years.

This was just one stop in his long coaching career. He has served as an assistant or head coach at Gardner Newman, Sound Doctrine Christian Academy and Springwood among others. 

The prospect of leading a public high school team for the first time has Hammett feeling jazzed up.

“I’m very excited to be coaching a high school here in my hometown,” Hammett said. “I’m just so excited and everybody has welcomed me here with open arms.”

Despite coaching where he works (Long Cane), coaching at the high school level was an opportunity that Hammett could not pass on.

“I’ve been coaching middle school basketball for about 10 years now and I felt like now was the time for a new challenge and to add a new chapter to my life,” Hammett said. “It presented itself and I jumped on the opportunity.”

The Tigers are coming off a season in which they went 10-17 and missed the playoffs. Hammett wants to flip the script on that right away.

“In terms of the region, I would like us to finish in the top four with a winning record and make a trip to the state playoffs,” he said. “A super successful season would be around 17-9, 18-8.” 

Troup has a young core that Hammett hopes to build into the foundation of his team in the first few years in charge.

“Dejaylen Campbell will be a junior and a guy we rely upon. He played with me at Long Cane for two or three years,” Hammett said. “We have four sophomores we are going to rely on heavily — Dee Moreland, Desmon Cunningham, Gavin Gates and Jaylen Brown.”

His philosophy with the guys in the early days with them has been simple: it starts with being connected on defense. 

“I want them to be able to pressure the ball, build traps and run full-court press at times,” Hammett said. “We are going to want to get some easy buckets in transition because we are athletic, but aren’t necessarily very big.”

Hammett has a familiarity with many of the players having coached the majority of them at Long Cane. 

“A lot of the players I already knew because I coached them previously at  Long Cane and the ones that I didn’t already know from travel ball or other types of ventures, so I already had a good relationship with the kids,” Hammett said. 

Games will start in the coming weeks, but the season has already begun for Hammett with tryouts being held earlier in the week and the first day of practice on Wednesday. 

“I’m ready man,” Hammett said. “I know we still have a little while before games and we have stuff we still have to put in, but everything so far has been great and I’m excited to get going.”