By Keith D. King
Bishops High girl’s coach Marlon Wells is no stranger to accolades. Over his 20 years of coaching, he has accumulated over 400 wins, been a part of five CIF title teams, and coached the top two career scoring leaders in California history (Chardé Houston, and Destiny Littleton) amongst other accomplishments.
Another accolade was just added. Wells was honored during the NCAA Final Four week in Texas by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Honorees are recognized after reaching coaching milestones of 200, 300, and 400 or more career wins.
“It was an honor to be recognized by the association. I wasn’t aware that they were keeping track of my wins, but I am truly thankful.”
This past season, Wells coached the Bishop Knights to a 30-4 record. During the season, USC commit Destiny Littleton broke the California all-time career scoring mark held by Wells’ former player at San Diego High, Chardé Houston.
“Even though it was years before Destiny came along, I feel that Chadé opened the door for a player like Destiny. When Chardé was playing, she still had to face a lot of questions and adversity because of where she was from (Southeast San Diego) and the fact that she was at a public school. I would hear things like ‘can she past her SAT’, ‘can she avoid getting pregnant’, ‘can she stay out of trouble’, and so forth. Destiny is also from the Southeast/Spring Valley area and actually went through some things during her early childhood, but she persevered and made herself into a great basketball player. A lot of questions wasn’t asked about her because she played at a private school.”
Littleton wasn’t the only player that broke records this year for Coach Wells. Senior Alessandra Aguirre broke the San Diego section record for career three pointers, and she also signed a letter of intent to play for Yale.
“It really makes me feel good to see the success that my players are having. It lets me know that they are staying the course and seeing results. It also tells me that my message is getting through to these kids.”
For Wells, even though the season is over, basketball doesn’t stop. He also coaches for Elite Basketball Operations (EBO). EBO, the only Adidas sponsored traveling team in San Diego, has produced over 80 college scholarships, and is one of the top programs in the nation.
“When I started, I noticed that most of the exposure and notoriety were going to players from the North County, and I felt that the players in South County and East County were just as good. EBO began to give players from other areas the opportunity to be seen, now we have players on our team from all over San Diego.”
Wells success as an innovative coach is evident. From the success of his current and former players, to now having one of the premier basketball programs in all of California, recognition for him is definitely deserved. It will be interesting to watch his legacy continue to grow.