Longtime boys varsity basketball coach Kevin Billerman was celebrated by family members, friends, colleagues and former players at a reception recognizing the naming of A.E. Finley Activity Center's Main Arena court in his honor.
The group gathered Sunday, Aug. 4, to dedicate Billerman Court in recognition of Billerman's nearly 20-year (and counting) career at Ravenscroft and the significant impact he has had on the many students he has coached and mentored.
In opening remarks, Head of School Doreen Kelly noted that it is "the Board of Trustees, through the Advancement Committee, who sets the criteria and the opportunities [for naming facilities] around such a beautiful campus such as ours. The building we are in today has been here for nearly 50 years. This arena and, in particular, this floor has never been named. So, to put it mildly, today is a big day — indeed, historic."
Billerman was a two-time captain at Duke University, playing for the Blue Devils in 1973-1975. He then coached basketball at Northern Durham High School, UNC-Charlotte, and Florida Atlantic University. He also spent time coaching in Europe and the World Basketball League.
In 2000, he joined Ravenscroft as an educator, advisor and head varsity boys basketball coach. He was recognized with the Helton Award, recognizing excellence in teaching and distinguished service to the school, in 2007. In 2014, he became assistant head of Upper School for student leadership.
As boys varsity basketball coach, he has compiled an impressive overall record of 422-157 and 18 TISAC conference titles, including 13 straight titles between 2006 and 2019 and a 93-game conference winning streak from 2006 to 2017. He led the Ravens to the NCISAA state championship finals in 2003, 2005 and 2009 and a win in 2012, finishing that season with a 31-3 record.
Players from Billerman's teams have gone on to play at the collegiate level at schools including such as Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, Wake Forest University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, UNC-Wilmington, Florida State, Louisville, Nebraska and many others.
The dedication was made possible by the generosity of numerous Ravenscroft basketball alumni, many of whom attended the event. Former players including Tre McQueen '06 and Chaz McQueen '07, Casey Stevenson '08 and Ryan Kelly '09 shared reflections on how Billerman's guidance and mentorship shaped their lives.
"Obviously, Coach has had a big impact on many people, as you can tell by the turnout today, and there are many more who couldn't make it," Stevenson said in his remarks. He explored three values Billerman exemplifies — attention to detail, competitiveness and toughness, and teammates as family — that have stayed with him in the decade since he last wore the Ravenscroft jersey.
"Simply put, you cannot win in life by yourself. It takes a village," he said. "And knowing that you have a place in that village is extremely empowering."
A community-wide dedication event is planned for basketball season. Congratulations, Coach Billerman!
View remarks from some of Billerman's former players on the Ravenscroft Instagram page.
At top, Kevin Billerman with the signage bearing the Main Arena court's new name. Below, with basketball alumni in attendance; with speakers Casey Stevenson '08, Chaz McQueen '07, Ryan Kelly '09 and Tre McQueen '06. At bottom, Billerman speaks to the friends and supporters in attendance.