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Gratz's Lynard Stewart, EA's Brian Shanahan reflect on John Chaney's impact

02/07/2021, 1:45pm EST
By Josh Verlin

Lynard Stewart (above) played for John Chaney at Temple from 1994-98. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

The Philadelphia basketball community lost one of its giants last week, when former Cheyney and Temple coach John Chaney passed at 89 years old. 

During the course of his illustrious, Hall of Fame career, Chaney left an indelible mark on the area’s basketball scene — whether through the use of his infamous matchup zone defense, his early-morning practices, his life lessons, or in any one of the other ways he connected with his players, colleagues, the media, and everybody else who came into his orbit.

Two of Chaney’s players, Lynard Stewart (1994-98) and Brian Shanahan (2005-07), have followed in his coaching footsteps, running the programs at Simon Gratz and Episcopal Academy, respectively. For both of them, it’s a return to their alma mater, a chance to continue Chaney’s legacy by coaching and mentoring future generations of student-athletes. 

Stewart and Shanahan sat down with CoBL on Sunday, a day before Chaney’s funeral, to discuss the impact he left on their lives and on the Philadelphia basketball community. They also shared their thoughts on how the COVID pandemic has affected their schools, players, and programs.

During the course of 45 minutes, they touched on:

  • Their first John Chaney experiences (3:39)
  • Opening the Liacouras Center against Fresno State (13:01)
  • Realizing why Chaney had the impact he had (18:10)
  • Coaching at their alma maters (23:26)
  • Memorializing John Chaney with 5:30 AM practices (28:02)
  • Making an impact in the community: (35:04)
  • Their lasting memories of John Chaney (39:19)
  • Super Bowl predictions (42:36)

Here’s the full interview:

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