Gerald Lee Snider
April 07, 1955 – May 29, 2019
Gerald Lee Snider, 64, died May 29, 2019, at his residence in Union County, Mississippi. He was born in Union County on April 7, 1955, the son of Leroy and Etoy Speck Snider. Mr. Snider attended Center Baptist Church and had been a sports recruiter helping young athletes. His parents preceded him in death. He is survived by a number of cousins and many friends and acquaintances.
A private burial was held on Friday, May 31, 2019, at Locust Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
This is an article written by Brad Locke and published in the Tupelo Daily Journal on Friday, May 31, 2019:
Gerald Snider was working in a furniture factory in the late 1980s when he had a crazy idea.
He brought that idea to John Stroud, who at the time was head men’s basketball coach at East Mississippi Community College. Snider wanted to start a recruiting service.
“This was before anybody did stuff like that,” Stroud said on Thursday. “He went to so many games. I helped him put a list of top players in Mississippi down, and then he went and started selling this to colleges.”
At its peak, more than 400 college programs subscribed to the Gerald Snider Basketball Recruiting Service. For three decades, he helped high school and juco players in Mississippi and surrounding states get seen by college coaches. Countless players attended and benefited from Snider’s showcase camps, including his Unsigned Senior Camp.
His recruiting service covered not only Mississippi, but also Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee.
“There’s no telling how many basketball games he went to and how many kids he helped and how many coaches he’s known,” Stroud said. “If you knew basketball, you knew Gerald Snider.”
Snider was a ubiquitous presence in gyms around the state, always with a legal pad and pen in hand, never a laptop – old-school to the very end.
Snider died earlier this week at the age of 64.
The casual basketball fan might not know his name, but coaches sure do. Twitter was flooded with tributes to Snider, with coaches from all over praising the man and his work.
Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis wrote that he first subscribed to Snider’s service in the 1980s and said, “We lost a great basketball friend today from Mississippi!”
Louisiana-Lafayette coach Bob Marlin, a Tupelo native, called Snider “a pioneer in Mississippi.” Texas Tech assistant coach Brian Burg wrote that Snider was “a hoops junkie and a genuinely great person!”
When Snider walked into a gym or coach’s office, this was often his greeting: “Hello, friend. I’ve got a player for ya.”
Jeff Roberts, who runs the Magnolia Hoops recruiting service, was frequently Snider’s companion on road trips in recent years. They were attending a national AAU tournament one time when Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski walked up and said, “Hey, Gerald, how are you doing?”
Just to look at Snider – an unassuming, somewhat disheveled fellow – you wouldn’t guess how much reach he had in the basketball community. But the New Albany native was a key figure in starting the Hotbed Classic boys showcase, which annually features teams and top talent from throughout the South.
“He would give me names of coaches, of schools, that I had never heard of,” said Mike Nobles, who was the Hotbed organizer for several years. “I would take those names and call those coaches and get names from those coaches. He was very, very helpful to me.”
Snider’s love for basketball was perhaps most evident toward the end. Roberts said that after suffering several mini-strokes in February, Snider went against his doctor’s wishes and traveled to Jackson for the high school basketball state tournament.
Snider was a single child, as were both of his parents. He has no children, although he was married at one time – very briefly.
“I remember he told me his wife left him because he went to too many basketball games and he was always gone,” Stroud said.
Roberts said that as far as Snider knew, he has no living blood relatives.
“He didn’t have a blood family, he had his ball family,” Roberts said. “When they made that saying, ‘ball is life,’ that was 100 percent him. It really was his life.”
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.New Albany MS Obituary, Union County MS obituary