MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The red, white and blue basketball is bouncing in Montgomery.
The Capital City is home to a first-year American Basketball Association team, the River Region Generals.
The Generals are currently 8-4 in their inaugural season and ranked 25th in the ABA.
A lot of the success starts with head coach Earl Taylor.
“When I found out he was the head coach, it made me want to play even more,” said guard Alex McNeil.
“To be honest with you, it’s just like they recruited me,” Generals coach Earl Taylor stated.
You might not find many ABA teams that have a head coach with the credentials Taylor has.
The River Region Generals head coach is a five-time Alabama high school state champion.
Two titles as an assistant at Montgomery Catholic, two as the head coach at St. Jude and one as a player on the 1977 St. Jude championship team.
"St. Jude is engraved in me. I thank God for them giving me the opportunity and I'm still trying to extend myself coaching wise to help some of these younger kids here to move on further in life," said Taylor.
After years of coaching in Fever Country Taylor spent last season as an assistant coach at Miles College under Leon Douglas.
After a coaching change there, a new door opened for Taylor in the form of Montgomery’s new ABA team.
"They've known some of the guys I've coached, and they have seen me in action. They've seen some of the teams that I've coached. Not saying that we won all the time, but we were structured and everybody was on the same page," Taylor said.
"He's a great coach. His name speaks for itself. Everyone knows about coach Taylor," McNeil stated.
It is a new league to Taylor. He coaches players who might be college students or work full-time jobs, but the long-time high school coach said no matter level, the challenges remain the same.
“Getting them to accept how you want it done or the way you want it done, that’s going to be the challenge for any coach on any level. Saying that, it is the same thing here. A lot of the time, these kids just don’t know each other,” stated Taylor.
"He's a good coach, but when you mess up, he's going to let you know. It's not in a bad way. He's going to get on you just to make you better," McNeil said.
"It is not always about the wins all the time. It's about the character. It's about doing things the right way. You never know where God is going to lead you. As long as you are doing the right thing the right way, something is always going to be there for you," said Taylor.
The Generals face the Music City Jazz at McKee Middle School on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.