Professional athlete, successful business executive, motivational speaker, spokesperson, educator, championship winning high school and college basketball coach - Bruce Capers is a genuine example of what it takes to confidently pursue your passions, recognize opportunities and turn them into successes.
Capers’ parents, James and Beatrice Capers believed strongly in spiritual fitness, character, work ethic, academics, helping others, and faith in ones self, these traits and abilities they instilled in their three children. A young Bruce was allowed to pursue his passion for sports as long as his priorities were in order.
Capers, began his athletic career in the peewee leagues in Savannah Georgia. An extremely good athlete he played three different sports - baseball, football and basketball - following in the footsteps of the nations hero of the time, Jackie Robinson who had played four sports. Capers’ proud grandmother affectionately referred to her grandson as “My little Jackie”. He eventually honed in on one sport, the challenge of being the best he could be and winning motivated Capers to become a standout basketball player.
Dedication leads to opportunities
After high school graduation, he attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) to study criminal justice on a basketball scholarship. In two seasons at ABAC his team won the Region 17 Championship and competed in the national tournament. He was voted Rookie of the Year, Best Defensive Player, Team Captain, Most Valuable Player, and All Conference Honors while earning his Associates Degree.
Well sought after by four-year colleges, Capers accepted a basketball scholarship to Berry College in Rome, Ga. and became one of the their most valuable teammates earning the awards Team Captain, All District Team, Secretary of Defense, Team Most Valuable Player, Coaches Award, all while attaining his Bachelor of Science degree.
Playing basketball was his passion and upon graduating he began his professional career. Capers played two seasons in the International Professional Basketball League that included stops in the Middle East and Europe before joining the Washington Generals. After a tour with the Generals, he was invited to play with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters where his bright smile, charismatic personality, and ball-handling skills earned him the nickname "Sugar Bear" by his teammates.
With his naturally optimistic and sociable personality it seemed only natural that after a few years of playing and traveling all over the world, Globetrotters management offered him the opportunity to be a Goodwill Ambassador. While training and working in the front office as a marketing director for both the Harlem Globetrotters and Ice Capades Tours he excelled earning the lead in sponsorship sales.
Player to coach
In 1997 Bruce Capers decided to go to Valdosta State University to earn a Masters in Education. In the meantime, he continued his trotting ways by serving as a spokesperson for the National Education Association (NEA), Emergency Commission on Literacy. Later, he also served as a spokesperson for Crest Healthy Smile 2010 a U.S Surgeon General initiative to eliminate tooth decay in America. He continued to make appearances and spoke at corporate functions, school assemblies, basketball camps and organized special fundraising events.
In 2000 he accepted a position to teach at the elementary and middle school level, and was the head coach of men's basketball in Pearson, Ga. for the Atkinson County School System. While in Pearson, he was named Atlanta Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year, won the region championships, and made it to the sweet 16 of the Georgia High School State basketball tournament.
Before long, Bruce Capers became the head coach of men's basketball and director of Student Life at Aiken Technical College, another dream realized.
He is also very passionate about empowering youth, and has developed various leadership initiatives that encourage focus and dedication, the tools required to make their dreams come to fruition.
In nine seasons he helped over sixty student athletes earn scholarships and transfer to four-year colleges and universities all over the United States at the NCAA Division 1, 2 and NAIA levels.
In helping his students achieve their goals, he fulfilled another of his personal dreams, to become a championship winning college basketball coach. Under his leadership, ATC teams won several regional tournaments, district championships, National Tournament appearance and several coach of the year honors. As director of Student Life he led, organized, and advised student organizations that competed and won several awards participating in statewide competitions involving community service projects. Capers was also responsible for creating, organizing, and implementing special events and fundraising opportunities for the college and the community. His greatest reward serving in both capacities is seeing many students over nine years develop, reach goals, become professionals and more importantly help others.
Clearly, he still has the passion to educate, lead, compete, and win from the classroom and coach’s box. July 31, 2014 Capers excepted the position of Assistant Professor and Head Basketball Coach at Gordon State College. The new coaching era begins.
A new vision
Bruce Capers immediate vision is to focus on new positions at Gordon State College, and as President/CEO of Capers Enterprise. Combine over 25 years of experience - as a Educator, Coach, Harlem Globetrotter, marketing executive, motivational speaker, spokesperson, special event planner, and fundraiser - to provide goodwill through various edutainment opportunities worldwide. He values his experience working with students at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. He believes those experiences give him a clear understanding of what it takes to help students reach their full potential.