By Susanne Kappler, Fort Jackson LeaderMarch 22, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- When the McDonald's All American High School Girls Basketball Game in Chicago tips off 6 p.m. Wednesday, members of the Fort Jackson community watching the game on ESPNU might spot a familiar face on the sideline.
Lt. Col. Greg Bauldrick, who in his day job works as the director of the EO training proponent with the Adjutant General School, is an assistant coach for the East team.
"It's certainly one of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences," Bauldrick said. "I'm just fortunate that at this moment in time I can be a part of it. I certainly hope that what I'm able to contribute is something that could touch the lives of these young folks in a very positive way for a very long time."
The McDonald's All American games pit the best high school players in the country against each other. On the boys' side, the game has been an early-career platform for basketball stars like Michael Jordan, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James.
Bauldrick, who holds a master's degree in sports management, has been volunteering as an assistant coach for the Spring Valley High School girls basketball team since 2007. He started coaching in 2002 when the coach for his son's recreational basketball league team quit.
On the Spring Valley team, he serves under head coach Anne Long, who is a member of the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and has led her teams to 11 state titles. Long was selected to coach the East team and decided to make Bauldrick one of her assistant coaches for the game.
"Coach Bauldrick is a tremendous asset to our entire program," Long said. "He carries out his daily duties very efficiently and is willing to go the extra mile without hesitation. He is a good coach and an outstanding person. It is a pleasure to work with him as we continue to strive for championship status."
Bauldrick said he found out about his selection in mid- February, but was not allowed to talk about it for about two weeks because a formal announcement had not been made.
"It (caused) many sleepless nights, because you're just filled with this anxiety of knowing that this was happening for you and you were going to be part of something special, but at the same time, you're waiting two and a half weeks before you can share it with those closest to you," Bauldrick said.
Bauldrick, a self-described sports junkie, said one of the things he loves most about coaching is knowing that he has the opportunity to make a lifelong impact on a young person's life.
"As I've gotten older, a lot of things in life that I draw to ties back to coaches that I've had along the way," he said. "Just touching young people's lives is, I think, the greatest gift that you can give somebody."
He said he sees a number of parallels between being a leader in the Army and being a coach.
"That's what (Army leaders) do. We coach, teach and mentor all the time. I think a lot of the practices and processes are very similar in terms of preparation," Bauldrick said. "I've pretty much transformed that and take the same approach when I'm at the gym and coach."
Bauldrick said he is excited to have the opportunity to coach some of the best high school players in the country.
"It doesn't get any better for high school basketball -- girls or boys," he said. "I'm just very thankful to Coach Long for giving me this opportunity and to the entire Spring Valley administration and staff for just allowing me to be part of the Spring Valley family."