Local Hoops Legend Buggs
Building Kingsbury Program
Erik Buggs knew what he was
in for when he accepted
the head coaching position at
“It wasn’t a very glamorous
job,” Buggs said. “A lot of the
kids I inherited were kids nobody
thought could play col lege
basketball. Some people didn’t
think they’d finish the season.”
To the latter: Finish the season
they did, at 11-10, tied for the team’s
highest win total in a decade.
To the former: If anyone knows
how to gauge college basketball
talent, it is Buggs.
Buggs was a high school
sensation in Memphis, a McDonald’s
All-American nominee after earning
all-state honors as a senior at
Mitchell High. He helped lead the
Tigers to a 30-5 record and a spot
in the state championship game in
his lone season at Mitchell after
transferring from White Station.
He then went to Valparaiso
and became one of Bryce Drew’s
most valuable players, a defensive
stalwart in three-plus years as a
starter, someone who blossomed
into a coach on the floor.
So he knows what he’s looking
for out of these Falcons, and more
importantly, what other people
are looking for.
“There was definitely a plan,
especially with the amount of
talent they had,” Buggs said. “We
made these freshmen earn it. One
14 2019-20 Shelby County High Schools Basketball Yearbook
A former high school
Division I player, Erik
Buggs has established a
rising program at Kingsbury
High, winning 11 games
of my best freshmen didn’t see
the floor a lot, but it made him
work a lot harder at what he did.
He was a gym rat, perfected his
craft. He’s jacked.”
Moss, a 6-foot-9 forward—went
from 320 pounds to 250 pounds
during the off-season, and is in
for a major role.
“He and the other four
freshmen, it made them hungry
for this year,” Buggs said. “They
feel like it’s their stage this year.
They’ve been working to prove that
last year was our learning year,
and that this year is when we show
everybody what were made of.”
The lightbulb didn’t just go on
for Moss, but at some point for