After 5 years of dedicated volunteer service as a Lone Star College-Tomball assistant basketball coach, and a tragic accident that nearly left him paralyzed, community member Jamar Finnie, fondly known as Coach J, will make his debut as the head coach of the LSC-Kingwood Coyotes this Friday evening, playing his former team, the LSC-Tomball Timberwolves.
In 2018, Finnie started regularly attending LSC-Tomball Timberwolf practices to support a student athlete he was personally training. Over time, Christopher DeJesus, the head coach of the Timberwolves, noticed Finnie's deep passion for the game and his commitment to the overall success of student athletes.
As a result, DeJesus offered Finnie a volunteer position as an assistant coach. Despite the absence of monetary compensation, Finnie willingly accepted the role.
“After his day job, Coach J was here, at every practice, evenings and Saturdays for five years,” said DeJesus. “His engagement made an incredibly positive impact on me and our team.”
In January 2023, after having no athletics program since COVID, LSC-Kingwood wanted to reintroduce a sports program, so posted a job opening for a basketball head coach. DeJesus endorsed Finnie for the job, and Finnie secured the position. Two weeks later, Finnie was struck by a car, in a car-pedestrian accident.
Finnie sustained severe injuries and, according to his doctors, Finnie would never walk again.
“It was touch and go for the first couple of months,” said DeJesus. “When his doctors told him he would never walk again, Coach J just wouldn’t accept it.”
Relentlessly, Finnie worked towards rehabilitation.
“From time to time, Finnie would sneak out of the hospital, and roll into some of our practices in his wheelchair,” said DeJesus. “One day, when he arrived in his wheelchair, he called me over and said, ‘Coach Chris, I’ve got a surprise for you.’ And then he got out of his wheelchair and started walking!”
With the help of rehabilitation therapy, and perseverance, Finnie regained his mobility and is ambulatory today. He has resumed his head coaching role at LSC-Kingwood, and this Friday will mark his debut as head coach in a game against his mentor and his former team, the LSC-Tomball Timberwolves.
"Not many people would have done what he's done," said DeJesus. "Basketball is life. The way Coach J trains his student athletes, inspiring them to uphold higher standards of accountability, loyalty, and dedication, reflects how he lives. We've been fortunate to have Coach J with us all these years, and we're thrilled to see him step into his new role as the Coyotes' head coach."
What: Please join LSC-Kingwood for Coach J’s head coaching debut of the Coyotes as they hoop it up against his former team the LSC-Tomball Timberwolves.
Who: LSC-Kingwood Coyotes, LSC-Tomball Timberwolves
Where: LSC-Kingwood Fitness Center, 20000 Kingwood Dr, Kingwood, TX 77339
When: Women’s game starts at 7 pm. Men’s game will immediately follow.