OAKLAND -- Damario Sims is coming home.

A standout guard on McClymonds High's 2008 state championship team, Sims is the school's new head boys basketball coach, he said on Tuesday.

Though Sims is young, having only graduated from Chico State last spring after a successful career at the Division II program, he'll have a mentor to lean on. His own high school coach, Dwight Nathaniel, has signed on to be Sims' top assistant.

"God blessed me enough to play basketball in college, I feel like I owe my community to come back and coach the game that I know so much about," Sims said.

Sims, who also recently took a new job as a youth development specialist at the Bay Area Youth Center, developed a passion for helping others in college.

"As I started getting older and wiser, I thought about how I can change a life," Sims said. "Basketball is my thing and it changed my life so I got into coaching. The best part about it is I have a really good rapport with all the kids (at McClymonds). They all grew up watching me play."

Known by his nickname "Memo," Sims helped McClymonds go 32-0 as a senior and scored 16 points in the Warriors upset win over Dominguez in the 2008 Division I state title game. At Chico State, he twice earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors.

Sims replaces Edgar Jackson, who took over the team last December when the previous head coach was let go midseason.

"I think it's a great hire!" Nathaniel said in a text message.



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