Basketball has taken LaMarr Greer around the world.
Now, it’s taken Greer, one of the most accomplished players in Cape-Atlantic League history, back to where his career began.
The Middle Township Board of Education approved Greer as the Panthers’ new boys basketball coach Thursday night.
“I’m extremely proud,” Greer said Thursday night. “This is where I started at. I take pride in representing Middle Township, and the community and the schools. I feel like kids look at me and say, ‘He made it from here. I can, too.’”
A 6-foot-5 point guard, Greer overpowered opponents with his size and knowledge of the game. He averaged 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as a senior.
Greer, 45, played his first two scholastic seasons at Overbrook. He then led Middle to the 1993 and 1994 state Group II titles. The Panthers reached the 1993 Tournament of Champions final, which they lost to St. Anthony of Jersey City. Middle is the only local boys team to reach a TOC final.
Greer was a McDonald’s All-American and scored 2,637 points, the most of any local player from a New Jersey State Interscholastic School, in his high school career. His No. 44 Middle jersey is retired.
“LaMarr Greer is basketball royalty in our community and across the state of New Jersey,” Middle Township superintendent Dave Salvo said. “Our student athletes will certainly benefit from LaMarr’s experience on the basketball court.”
Greer replaces Tom Feraco, who stepped down last month. Feraco, one of the top coaches in New Jersey high school basketball history, led the Panthers to three state titles during his two stints as coach. Feraco coached Middle from 1981-2016. He returned to coach from 2019-21. He finished with a career record of 733-270.
Greer, who has been assistant at both Middle and Camden, acknowledged that following Feraco will be difficult. Greer said the two talk often.
“He gave me my foundation of how to work hard, how to navigate through life,” Greer said. “He’s still a big part of the process. His knowledge is amazing. I’m privileged to have someone like that who I can just call.”
Throughout his playing career, Greer often was involved in game-planning and strategy discussions with all his coaches.
“Now that I look back at all my coaches that I had in high school, college and overseas, I think they all saw (coaching potential) in me,” Greer said. “They all made me a part of the getting ready for the game process, how they treat this player, how they treat that player, how they made adjustments.
“I’m still close to all my coaches from Italy, Germany, Russia, Greece. I talk to all of them still. I can reach out to people all around the world.”
The Panthers finished 2-4 in a pandemic-shortened 2021 season but appear to have a promising future. The program features several talented underclassmen.
“We just have to (convince) our kids to stay home,” Greer said. “Leave the middle school and walk across the street to the high school. The number one goal is getting these kids prepared and off to college. You have to do everything you can to get them there.”
Greer said he plans to be a presence at middle school, local travel and AAU games.
“It’s different,” Greer said. “You have to go out there and show these kids attention. Basketball keeps changing. It always evolves. You have to evolve with it.”