As one of Florida State’s three Heisman trophy winner, Charlie Ward left Tallahassee to play professional basketball with the New York knicks as their starting point guard, only to return to the city that saw the birth of his two-sport superstardom as the newest head basketball coach at Florida High. But if you ask him, it’s all about the love of the game. His star-studded journey has brought high, lows, and lots of lessons.
Ward is fluent in Floridian. Winning his Heisman as FSU’s quarterback, his life outside of sports holds a deeper meaning, “I want to be known as a giver, whether it’s giving back to a high school, giving to a charity, whether financial or time, just want to be a giver.” One way he practices giving back is by having his Heisman trophy on display at the Thomasville Public Library for the children of his hometown.
During his time in New York, Ward had the chance to learn under the tutelage of NBA legends such as Derek Harper, Herb Williams, and even Doc Rivers. Rivers has his own Florida story, beginning his coaching career with the Orlando Magic, he maintained residence in Central Florida after leaving the Magic, raising his children there, including son Austin Rivers. Austin went on to play basketball at Winter Park High School, and eventually under his father’s coaching for the Los Angeles Clippers.