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New PSU basketball coach's home is Mahanoy City

Many Penn State fans in our area are excited to have a hometown guy as the new basketball coach for next season, some don't know how he fell in love with the game.

MAHANOY CITY, Pa. — While the basketball court on Catawissa Street may not look like much, it is where Penn State's newest basketball coach, Mike Rhoades, started playing as a kid in his hometown of Mahanoy City.

His uncle and former basketball coach, Mickey Holland, lives across the street from the court.

“He pretty much grew up with Mahanoy Area Basketball. And he loved to play and shot around all the time,” he said.

Coaching runs in the Rhoades family. 

Mike's sister, Ali Hobbs, says Mike gets his coaching style from their dad, who was a football coach.

She, Mike, and their brother Jim Rhoades grew up cheering each other on from the sidelines.

“We just always showed up for each other, and I think Mike shows up for his players. Whether they're players from 20 years ago or this past season, he will always be there for them,” Hobbs explained.

His family says if he wasn't at practice after school, you would find Mike Rhoades walking around downtown Mahanoy City with a basketball in his hand.

“When he was younger than all the big guys playing, they would always chase him away. He really had to earn his place there. He did, and it took a long time, but it kinda helped build his confidence and his determination,” his brother, Jim Rhoades, mentioned.

“He was the best player I've ever coached, really. Probably put more time in, and because he did put in more time, he worked harder than anybody,” Holland added.

Since taking the job, people throughout Schuylkill County are celebrating not only Mike Rhoades' success story but the tight-knit local sports community he and his family created in Mahanoy City.

His mom, Mary Edith, says she will never miss a game, no matter if he's playing or coaching.

“Everybody in town is talking about buses going up next season, and I think they would,” she said.

With both Ali and Jim being Penn State grads, Mary Edith says Mike's new job makes them a complete Penn State Family.

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