Greats Turk, Breland help honor Ladner for 500 wins

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After 21 years as head coach, both for St. Stanislaus and Oak Grove High School, Jay Ladner received a standing ovation at midcourt Friday night for reaching his milestone of 500 career wins.

The ovation and the support did not only come from the capacity-filled Oak Grove gymnasium, but from two distinguished guests, MK Turk and Harry Breland, who also made their mark on the game of basketball.

Breland, a hall of fame basketball coach, lead the Oak Grove Warriors for 37 years, virtually building the program from the roots, while Turk coached the University of Southern Mississippi basketball squad for many years, leading them to a NIT title in 1987.

Both Breland and Turk presented basketballs to Ladner, also joined by his father and his wife.

"I'm very humbled by tonight," shared Ladner before the game, "I hope it means a lot to (Oak Grove), and certainly to win 500 games is just a credit to all the people I've been associated with; young men either here at Oak Grove or St. Stanislaus.

"I feel like all the credit goes to them."

After his team gathered at center court to show their congratulations, a number of former teammates embraced Ladner, and stayed for the remainder of his team's match with rival Petal.

To top things off, his team beat Petal 47-34, giving the Warriors a clean sweep of their cross-town rivals this season.

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