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About Coach Duck


 

Griffin Grasshoppers Association

Alan Gerald Richards, Sr.
Founder and Director

The Man We All Know As "Coach Duck"

 

Alan "Duck" Richards is the Founder and Director of the Griffin Grasshoppers Association, Inc. a Non-Profit Organization that use basketball to develop on-the-court skills and improve off-the-court life. Coach Duck is a native of Griffin, Georgia and was very disturbed to see that under privilledge and economically challenged kids were being overlooked due to their family conditions once he returned home after several years of being away. Therefore, the Griffin Grasshoppers Association Inc. was established in 1996 by Coach Duck who is a former hoops player at Griffin High School with NBA Legend teammate "Jumping" Joe Ward. Coach Duck is one of those people whose passion and love of the game of basketball is contagious. He honestly believes that every child deserves a chance regardless of their conditions. He spent the last two decades developing high school basketball players by increasing quality and integrity of basketball through Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Tournaments. Coach Duck has coached at every level of play, Spalding County Parks and Recreation, Taylor Street and Henderson Middle Schools, Griffin, Jackson and Morrow High Schools, Military US Marine Corps, Gordon College and professionals in the UBA. He often remind his players that everyone cannot play Division-1 college basketball but everyone can go to college and earn a degree. Coach Duck encourage his players to set realistic goals but stress that hard work and sacrifices are going to carry them throughout LIFE.....and not just a free ride to a college. While coaching, over 300 student-athletes have received scholarships; notably every senior that graduated for the past consecutive five years have received a scholarship within his coaching tenure. He has been honored as the community "Best Positive Role Model" for today's youths and labeled as a "Minister of Basketball".

 

Prior to coaching, Coach Duck served in the United States Marine Corps for twenty-four years where he played on the All-Marines Basketball Team. He attributes his tough, intense, mental and physical approach to the game to the rigorous training he received in the Marine Corps while at Parris Island, South Carolina. He spent three years as a Marine Drill Instructor training thousands of recruits to become combat ready Marines. His tough discipline tactic on the basketball court has been very effective for all the players under his leadership. Coach Duck utilized his Marine Corps training when he worked as an Atlanta Police Officer for fifteen years before starting his career as an educator. Coach Duck is a published author, lecturer and has coached a team in the AAU Nationals for the past twelve consecutive years. He is a true devoted educator with a brilliant basketball mind, especially innovative ways to market and expose his players. His philosophy of life is simple: put GOD first in all of your pursuits, follow-up with education, family and lastly basketball. His philosophy of basketball is summed up in three letters, G.A.S. which stand for Grades, Attitude and Skills. Always put the "Books before Basketball", keep a positive attitude everyday and then there's no limit to what a player can do.  Coach Duck has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Saint Leo University.