LeQuell Allen feels like he is doing what is right for his family and basketball teams at J.Z. George High School.

Allen, who served as the head coach for the girls and boys teams during the 2019-20 season, resigned recently to focus his attention on his military duties with the Army National Guard.

“We have an upcoming deployment in 2022, and because of that, I was going to miss a great deal of time during the season working with the kids,” said Allen, who is a captain and the commander of the Canton National Guard. “I didn’t feel like I could only be giving half of my time to both of these teams. I’m going to be gone for two weeks in November, and again in January. Then my whole summer is going to be tied up.

“It wasn’t an easy decision because I love these kids. We were looking forward to the season. I saw a lot of growth in both teams last season.”

J.Z. George athletic director Nathan Moncrief understood Allen’s decision.

“We really hated to see him go. Coach Allen is a great coach and a fine man,” Moncrief said. “The kids respected him, and he cared so much about them.”

Allen said he told the kids who are in attendance in school, and also let the ones know who are doing distance learning.

“I think all of them understood my decision,” he said. “Both teams worked very hard last season. I got a late start with the boys, but they really began to come on as the season progressed.”

The Lady Jaguars finished with a 7-19 record, while the Jaguars were 9-15.

Contact Calvin Stevens at 581-7234 or cstevens@gwcommonwealth.com.

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