MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the North Valley, basketball is a family affair. That is something Merced College knows well.
For the past 28 seasons, Allen Huddleston Sr. has been coaching the women's basketball team at Merced College
"My foundation really for college basketball started with Coach Reid," said Huddleston Sr.
The Merced native never hit the hardwood as a blue devil after tearing his ACL coming into college.
He would find his calling while he was flying under the wing of California Community College hall of fame coach, Don Reid.
"I still wanted to be around the game and Coach Reid used me as a student assistant, and the love for the game just took off from there," Huddleston Sr. explained.
In 1997, Reid would retire, opening the door for his protégé.
"As excited as I was, I was also extremely nervous. Wondering, 'can I really do this?'" recalled Huddleston Sr.
Huddleston was more than ready to take over the position.
In the years since he has filled the trophy case at the school with 9 conference titles.
He even made it to the state title game in 2018 with the help of a new assistant coach.
Huddleson Sr. would recruit his son, Allen Huddleston Jr.
"Had a little itch to get back into basketball. My dad was like, "you should probably come back and coach," said Huddleston Jr.
A former Fresno State basketball player in his own right.
"We've been tied to this since I was probably 5 years old - it's been always top of mind," said Huddleston Jr.
"As the head coach and being the dad, he really makes it easy. I think the love and respect that i get from him just made it a really smooth transition," Huddleston Sr. said.
In 2021, that transition would turn into an opportunity, with Huddleston Jr. becoming the men's head coach.
He brought his dad's style with his own spin to the court.
"I would say he's a little more intense," said Huddleston Sr. "His language might be a little more different."
"His style is a little more on the safer side," his son added.
As a colleague, Huddleston Sr. is happy to share an office with the man who shares his name.
"Between you and I - I think his first game that he coached I tried to fight the tears back. Extremely proud of what he's done. Every time I get to watch him on the sideline, I am amazed," said Huddleston Sr.
"I don't know how much he has left in the tank, or how many more years he has, but you can definitely expect me to be here," Huddleston Jr. added.
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