LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– The name Jonas Richard holds weight in basketball gyms throughout the Hub City, but at one time, he was just a young boy honing his skills at Heymann Park.
Richard tells News 10’s Dalfred Jones he remembers when older men on the court wouldn’t even let him play. He found himself practicing alone on a goal at the far end of the court most days.
“So what I did was come out here and tie my left hand behind my back and go at it with my right hand all day.”
This hard work paved the way for Richard to become a star at Comeaux High School. He continued to pursue his basketball career at Southern university and Tugaloo College. After fulfilling his hoop dreams, Richard put his computer science education to work while still continuing to train young players like his daughter.
In 2010, Richard was given the opportunity to coach the Women’s Basketball team at Shaw University in North Carolina. In 2011, the team won NCCA Division II National Championship. Under Richard’s guidance, this was the first time in 30 years a HBCU team took home the trophy.
In October 2022, Jonas Richard and the 2011-2012 Championship team were inducted into the Shaw University Hall of Fame.
“Being recognized for accomplishing something, not as an individual but as a team, that meant a lot to me. I’ve always been team first. I’m a point guard. I have to be team first.”