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Coach Mark Mayfield shares his philosophy for winning on and off the court

Coach Mark Mayfield and daughter Nyla (Photo provided)

A native of Los Angeles, Mark Mayfield graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, where he won an NAIA basketball championship in 2002. A decorated player in the junior collegiate circuit as well, Mayfield received his B.S. in physical education while in Oklahoma. After conquering the competition and hanging up his playing shoes, Mayfield used his knowledge of the game to help student-athletes in Atlanta. Currently an IRR teacher and coach at Drew Charter High School, Mayfield previously served South Gwinnett High School — the alma mater of current Los Angeles Clipper star Lou Williams — as a head coach and assistant coach for both junior varsity and varsity basketball. Mayfield is married to Vanna, with whom he has three children — Nyla, 16, Aaryn, 12, and Zayda, 8.

What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?

Being a teacher and basketball coach I leave behind years of leadership within the community. From individual workouts to tutoring, I’ve shown all children that you need to put in extra work to become great.

Which fatherhood experiences have taught you the most about yourself?

My first daughter taught me that children need “parents” more than anything. I became a single father when Nyla was 3 years old. She is now 16. For the last 13 years, I have put aside my plans to be there for Nyla physically and emotionally.

How important is keeping your word?

I’m a basketball coach. I have three daughters. I consider my players as my sons. I stay true to my word at all times to teach them that they must be true at all times, especially being a man.

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