Coaching at SCCS, TMU is a family affair for James Mosley

SCCS boys basketball coach James Mosley has been coaching the Cardinals since 2003. He joined the TMU men’s basketball coaching staff in August. The Signal file photo

Eight-year-old JR Mosley wants to dress like his dad on gameday.

Four-year-old Isaiah Mosley watches from the bleachers but longs to sit beside his dad on the bench.

Wendy Mosley loves having her husband and their sons all in one place doing what they love.

This season James Mosley is coaching two of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most successful basketball teams.

He’s head coach for the Santa Clarita Christian boys, who host Rolling Hills Prep of San Pedro tonight at 7 p.m. in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA quarterfinals, and he’s in his first season as second assistant for The Master’s University men.

He’s been able to scramble between both without sacrificing too much family time because, well, it’s a family affair.

“They’re loving it as much as he does,” Wendy said of her sons. “We’re blessed in that way. They just want to be there with him.”

In August, first-year TMU head coach Kelvin Starr approached Mosley, the head coach at SCCS since 2003, about joining the Mustangs’ staff as second assistant.

For Starr, it was an opportunity to bring in a part-time assistant who’d been an All-American at the school before playing professionally overseas.

For Mosley, who graduated from TMU in 1996, it was another chance to teach the game and impact the lives of young men.

For Wendy, it was a no-brainer.

“‘Absolutely,’” Wendy recalled telling James. “‘This is a great opportunity for you. You love it. We’ll work around the schedule as much as we can to let you do it. Let’s enjoy it.’”

Mosley, a health and physical education teacher at SCCS, also worked with Cardinals Athletic Director Ali Aguilar to schedule team activities around TMU’s schedule.

There have been conflicts, with SCCS taking priority, but Mosley has made it to 80 to 85 percent of TMU’s games and practices, allowing him to form strong bonds with players.

“He’s very relational,” said TMU senior Evan Jenkins, “and he builds trust and a comfort level with the players, so when he has something to say on the basketball side of things, we trust him and respect what he says.”

Starr echoed the sentiment.

“When I’m being tough and commanding excellence, he can be that buffer and put an arm around the kid and pick them up a little bit,” he said.

The Mustangs are in the midst of a stark turnaround. After winning four games last season, the team is 22-4 and on the verge of its first NAIA national tournament berth since 2000.

SCCS is one win away from the CIF semifinals after winning a share of the Heritage League title with Valley Torah of Valley Village.

The Cardinals were set to play Valley Torah on Feb. 4, meaning Mosley would have to miss TMU’s home game against rival Biola of La Mirada.

However, Valley Torah forfeited the game and Mosley rushed, along with roughly half of the Cardinals, to Master’s in time for the game.

“It’s been busy but really enjoyable,” Mosley said.

Enjoyable not just for Mosley.

JR asks Wendy the night before SCCS games to make sure his khakis and black polo are ready to go so he can dress just like James. He then takes his spot on the bench.

“He feels he’s part of the coaching staff,” Wendy said.

Isaiah hopes to sit on the bench one day, too. He’s a little young for now, Wendy said, but he still gets to rehash the game on the family’s drive home.

“We all are in the car having a conversation,” Wendy said. “‘Did you see this shot? Did you see that play?’”

Most importantly they’re all watching the same games.

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