December 22, 2023

Community Champion: D’mani Nettles Commitment To Leesburg

4 min read| Published On: December 22nd, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Community Champion: D’mani Nettles Commitment To Leesburg

4 min read| Published On: December 22nd, 2023|

D’mani Nettles a former basketball standout for Leesburg and former College Basketball player has opened a new chapter, one that involves giving back the community he grew up in. Nettles knows a thing or two about championship winning teams. He was part of one of the greatest eras of Leesburg Basketball during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons when Leesburg won two state championships in a row.

(D’mani Nettles when he played for Leesburg as a player. He’s now a junior in college and has returned to Leesburg High to coach.)

Nettles was just a freshman and a sophomore during those years. He got to play with future NBA Star Keon Ellis and played against NBA talent such as Tre Mann who is with the Oklahoma City Thunder. When Nettles graduated in 2020, he decided to continue his education and playing career when he Northland Community Technical College in Minnesota. There he played basketball and studied his major Psychology.

Nettles would receive his Associates Degree but unfortunately had a serious knee injury during his sophomore season that essentially ended his competitive basketball career. Having received his associates degree, Nettles moved back to Leesburg to focus on earning his BA in Psychology. He is currently attending Albany State and taking online courses. But that is just where Nettles story begins.

(D’mani Nettles had the opportunity to play college basketball in Minnesota before suffering what would be a career altering ACL tear.)

D’mani Nettles returned to Leesburg and studied to get his real estate license. He currently sells homes in the area and is also on the West Leesburg CDC board. “I see so much potential in Leesburg. I always have but to have the opportunity to give back to the community I was raised in is a blessing. I am just 22 years old but have so much ambition.”

D’mani began coaching basketball when he returned to Leesburg with State Champion head coach Sean Campbell. The two of them had every intention as well as the rest of the coaching staff to focus solely on the boy’s program. However, the girls’ basketball coach quit right before the start of the season.

(Nettles is a young coach at just 22 years old but he uses his age to relate to the players. He is one of the youngest assistant coaches in Lake County currently.)

Coach Campbell and Nettles were not about to let the girls go into the season without a coach so Campbell and Nettles volunteered to take on coaching the girls’ and boys’ programs. Nettles is currently the head coach of the JV boys, assistant coach for girls’ and boys’ varsity programs. The coaching staff for the girl’s program is having a tremendous impact. They went from winning just 1 game last year to starting the season a perfect 9-0. “We had some girls transfer in and some from last year. They just believe in one another. We treat each other like family.

(Nettles coaching the boys program with his mentor and father figure coach Sean Campbell with the clip board. Nettles is the head coach of the boys JV team and assistant coach with the girls and boys varsity teams.)

“It is a daunting task and it is challenging because we are spread so thin with who we have, but we are doing everything we can to make do with the situation.” said Sean Campbell. “Having D’mani return to the community has been amazing. He is like a son to me as are so many former players. D’mani does so many things to help both our boys and girl’s programs and we are so excited about what he is doing at such a young age.”

D’mani Nettles is only 22 years old but he already has big aspirations. He will soon graduate with a BA in Psychology, continue his real estate career, coach basketball and is growing his own clothing line business LatrodLegacy. Did we mention he wants to be a future Leesburg Comissioner? “I will be Fred Griffrin Jr. Campaign Manager for the 2024 election for Commissioner of Leesburg District 3.” What an amazing amount of goals and success this young man has set himself up for.

(When Nettles is not studying in school or coaching basketball, you can find him selling homes around our community. He also has big plans to run for Leesburg Commissioner.)

At 22 years old D’mani Nettles is just beginning his life’s journey. He has done more at just 22 years of age than many of us could ever dream about. Talking with D’mani one thing was clear, he has big plans for his future. You can see just how motivated this young man is and he intends to make the most of it. “It just feels good to give back to these kids. I am only 4 or 6 years older than most of them so we can communicate really well together. I want to show these kids that you can graduate and do amazing things. I might be just 22 years old but I want to show them the ambition they can have to get where they want to be.”

(Nettles had strong leadership when he played for Leesburg. That’s due to his teammates who felt like family to him. He also had the opportunity to learn under Sean Campbell who continues to teach Nettles to this day on how to coach. The work is paying off as D’mani Nettles has the JV Leesburg team off to a 4-1 start.)

We applaud D’mani Nettles and his commitment to excellence. We are inspired by this young man wanting to give back to our community. We can’t wait to see what he does in the coming years!

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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