Coach turns Jeannette girls basketball into trending topic

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019 | 5:32 PM


Clear back in the spring, when basketballs were tucked away on dusty racks in darkened equipment rooms, Jonathan Bass was starting the hype.

The second-year girls basketball coach at Jeannette has taken social media by storm in an effort to promote his program and players.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — the Lady Jays are everywhere.

Bass is all thumbs sometimes.

The posts range from offseason workouts (in April), to summer-league highlights, to highlights from open gyms and game highlights.

The camera is always rolling. The coach doesn’t always film the clips himself. He has help from team manager Riley Brennan in an effort to chronicle what he believes will be a turnaround — progress in his and assistant Adrianna Berry’s process and an advancement of their narrative.

“It’s something I wanted to do systematically and strategically for our girls,” Bass said. “They need to see their accomplishments, not just hear about them.”

As passionate a coach as you’ll find, Bass, 39, keeps the social realm updated on all things Jeannette girls hoops.

A lot of teams have Twitter accounts. None are as active as the ones Bass operates.

“This is what I do. I love coaching,” he said. “I make it a 24-hour-a-day job. I have a vision for the girls and it’s beautiful. I can see it coming.”

Follow Jeannette — or Bass — on any social platform and you can get a daily look at the team. From highlight baskets to hustle plays, Bass shares the girls’ best efforts.

“The girls need to know I am in it for them,” Bass said.

Video clips and positive feedback from Bass give the players, fans and opponents something to review.

“Our new (athletic director), Ryan Hayden, helped us get on Hudl,” Bass said. “That has helped a lot.”

It’s a nonstop flow of updates that the team has come to expect.

“It helps us a lot and it’s fun,” said guard Jada Bass, the coach’s daughter, one of the team’s six seniors and a third-year starter. “It gets us exposure, so it’s good for the girls who want to play past high school. We can watch the (videos) and see what mistakes we made or what we can do better.

“We’re always talking basketball at home.”

Jeannette is known for its football program, which has more WPIAL wins than anyone else, and boys basketball probably comes in second-best. But Jonathan Bass said the community should pay attention to the school’s other teams.

“We want people to look at the girls team like they do the boys team here,” he said. “I realize that takes winning, but I want people to take notice of what we’re doing. If they know our girls are giving 100% and building the program, that should draw people in.”

Jeannette went 4-17 last season and has not been a factor in the WPIAL since all-time leading scorer Ciara Gregory led the Lady Jays to a championship in 2010.

This year’s team is 1-2 following a loss Tuesday at California. The Class 2A Lady Jays led Class A No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic early in Monday’s game before falling, 41-23. GCC beat Jeannette last year, 66-31.

“The girls need to feel important,” Jonathan Bass said. “That is one of the reasons we didn’t win before. We’re trying to change things.”

One like at a time.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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