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Sam name, same game, different face on Harlan County sidelines

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -- Since Harlan County's inception in 2008 its boys basketball program has known one name; Jones, and even though 600-game winner Mike Jones has retired, the name lives on.

"I'm just extremely humbled and blessed to be able to take over for him," says Michael Jones, who replaces his father Mike as Harlan County boys basketball coach. "It's always been my dream. I've told people before and I truly mean it, if I can be half the coach he was then I'll be a pretty successful coach."

Jones' son, and former Harlan Green Dragon, Michael takes over the Black Bear program.

"I feel like he deserves a chance," says Mike. "He's paid his dues. He relates well to the kids, to the parents. I don't have any doubt that he'll be a good coach."

Jones played for his father at Harlan Independent winning a Class 'A' state championship, but over the years has learned much more than basketball.

"The most important thing that I've took from him has nothing to do with basketball, and that is you treat kids the same no matter who they are," says Michael.

Michael is not out to replicate his father's success, but make his own mark on the game.

"I wanted to follow in his footsteps. It's a humbling experience. I've got a lot to learn. I've got a lot to live up to. But I'm just going to be Michael."


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