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Assuming a Heavy Mantle in a Season of Sorrow

“I’m a pretty laid-back coach,” said Best, 29. “I’m more interested in changing the lives of some of these young women than changing the calls of referees, and through basketball, I think I have been able to do that.”

Best stepped into the coaching spotlight in January after the death of Apache Paschall, who led Nazareth to the Brooklyn/Queens, state and federation championships in 2011. Paschall, who died at 38, apparently of a heart attack, was replaced by Best and another assistant, Ron Kelley.

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