If she’s not in a classroom, Destany Eagles is playing, coaching or thinking about basketball.
She graduated from Carolina Forest High School in 2003 as a student/athlete, and came back six years ago as a teacher and coach.
She teaches web design, integrated business application and fundamentals of the computer.
That’s in the classroom where she believes a good teacher “has to marry the course material to the needs of the student.”
On the court, she teaches discipline and teamwork and accountability, and says that’s not too different from what she does in the classroom.
“In basketball, a good coach knows her skill sets and matches that to the team she has.”
Back in high school, Eagles juggled her academics with her love of basketball and her love of band.
A first chair trumpet player and brass captain, she was in everything band-related.
“Marching, jazz, symphonic, orchestra…basketball and band were pretty equal.”
And while she still has her trumpet, she’s put it back in its case for now, focusing on her teaching career and her sport.
Eagles grew up “up and down the East Coast” with a military father, and most of her family is in Conway now, which she considers home.
Growing up in the military, when street addresses and circles of friends changed, Carolina Forest High School represented stability to her, and coming back there to teach was a natural progression.
Before teaching, she was a corrections officer at J. Reuben Long Detention Center. She left to become a substitute teacher, then a para-professional and then got her teaching certification. Both grandmothers worked in schools, and she has two aunts who work in the local district office. So education, whether teaching business or athletics, wasn’t a tremendous leap for her.
“As a member of the National Honor Society, Destany was an active member at each activity, eagerly participating in community service,” says CFHS instructional coach Ruthie Warren, who was an honor society advisor when Eagles was a student. “As she comes from a well-known family lineage of educators, she fulfilled her name — it was her destiny to be a teacher.”
When she was a CFHS student, she was named All Hoop Zone 2003, was Outstanding Panther 2002, Coca-Cola Athlete of the Year finalist in 2002, MVP in 2001, and played with Zwolle-Netherlands/ Holland Carolina’s women’s travel basketball team in 2000.
At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, she was not only on the Dean’s List from 2005-’07, she was also co-captain of the women’s basketball team in 2006 and ’07, playing since 2003.
As a Red Hawk, she was co-captain in 2006-2007, was sixth in the nation for steals, averaging three per game and totaling 68 during the 2006-’07 season.
“My academics were always very important to me,” she says. “I never wanted to be the dumb jock. I did it all as hard as I could.”
After college, Eagles was an assistant girls coach at Conway Middle School, and following an over .500 career there, she became assistant girls JV coach at Conway High School, maintaining her over .500 career record.
From 2012-2013 she was head girls’ basketball coach at Aynor Middle School and was girls basketball ascend baller AAU 16U those years as well. From 2013-2014, she was girls varsity basketball head coach at Aynor High School. From 2015-2016, she was girls JV assistant basketball coach at CFHS with a 10-0 record.
She’s the JV girls head coach at CFHS now, with a 23-7 record. She also plays professionally with the Minor League East Coast Basketball League and the Florence Lady Wildcats.
And she ‘s co-founder of Confidence Hoops where she works as a liaison between players, coaches, and additional staff, with a focus on the strategic planning process of player development and organizational growth in the community.
Basketball, she says, teaches structure. In middle school, “they let the kids be, letting them find themselves. High school,” she says, “is different.
“Certain things are required in high school, and basketball is a place where you get the structure to learn how to do what you’re asked to do.”
Eagles says if she’s not at school and not with her family, she’s with her “extended family, playing basketball.
“I eat, sleep and breathe basketball.”