Greg Yarbrough
Class of 2019

Greg Yarbrough

When the Rattlers needed to make a big shot, former Tanner basketball coach Billy Owens always knew who he wanted to have the ball: Greg Yarbrough.

Yarbrough, who played for the Rattlers from 1983–86, had a knack for coming through in the clutch, and Owens was never shy to draw up a play for him when the game was on the line.

“The bigger the stage, the better Greg performed,” Owens said. “It was easy during timeouts to draw up plays for Greg to shoot an 18- to 20-foot jump shot and know he was going to make most of them. He had the confidence and wanted the ball. It made my job a lot easier.”

Yarbrough was the Class 3A Player of the Year in Alabama his senior year of 1986, and he was also a USA Today All-American Honorable Mention selection that same season, averaging 21 points and eight rebounds per game. Yarbrough then went on to play two seasons at Snead State Community College, where he averaged 11 points per game.

Yarbrough’s performance for the Rattlers led to his induction to the 2019 class of the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame. It is an honor Yarbrough said he never thought would come.

“I was very, very surprised when I found out,” he said. “I knew I was up for it last year and fell a little short. But I wasn’t expecting it this year. It’s a great honor I am very proud of.”

Yarbrough is part of the long line of Tanner basketball successes that continue to this day. He said the younger players continually learning from the older ones is a reason for that success.

“When we were coming up, a lot of the older guys had gone on to college, but whenever they had time, they always made time to give back to us,” Yarbrough said. “They would play pick-up games with us and kind of beat us up a bit, getting us ready. We then returned the favor to the younger guys, and it’s a domino effect. We always tried to come back and check on the younger ones coming up, making sure they’re doing the right thing.”

Owens, who was also principal at Tanner High School for many years, said that camaraderie continues to this day. “I have noticed that in my 33 years there,” Owens said. “A lot of guys would come back in the gym that would have played years earlier. They come back and not just play with the kids, but help the kids. That’s still happening at Tanner now.” Owens said Yarbrough’s induction into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame is a tribute to him and the Tanner basketball program.

“It’s a big honor not only for Greg, but for myself and for Tanner High School and that community,” he said. “It’s certainly a big honor and we welcome him to our class of inductees.”