Duane Eason hopes to use the same motivation he took from mentors in his life and lead Phoenix Mountain Pointe’s boys basketball program back to prominence.

Eason will succeed Hosea Graham as head coach, pending approval from the Tempe Union High School District.

Eason moved from New Jersey to Phoenix in July, looking for a coaching position. He was offered a spot on Matt Gordon’s staff at Phoenix College. The Bears came up just short of advancing to the National Junior College Division II tournament, losing to Pima in the region championship game.

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Eason, currently a teacher at Phoenix Maryvale High, said he coached three years at American History High in Newark, N.J. The team went 17-11 in his last season there last year.

He played baseball at Troy State.

He has 17 years basketball coaching experience.

Mountain Pointe went 11-15 this past season. The Pride had one winning season in the four years under Graham.

“I heard that (Mountain Pointe) is a sleeping giant,” Eason said. “A lot of talent in a great location, a great education. Those are things I’m looking for. It’s important to me that students go to college and be successful academically and athletically.”

Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.