None of the current Paxon basketball players were born in 1965.

None of the current Paxon coaches were, either. 

"When I saw [the school's last basketball championship] was 1965, I was like, 'dang, it's been a long time since we actually won anything!'" junior forward Isaiah Adams laughed. "So us winning districts and regional's -- it's pretty cool."

Almost as cool as making it back to the Final Four for the first time since 1965.

The Golden Eagles defeated Tallahassee Rickards 62-59 to advance to Wednesday's Class 6A Semifinals in Lakeland. Paxon will play Lakewood at 6 p.m.

Although he wasn't around in 1965, head coach Toby Frazier knows a thing or two about Paxon basketball: Frazier starred for the Golden Eagles in the late 1990s before going on to play at Jacksonville University.

"I had a lot of individual success as a player, but as a team, we never won a district championship. We never went to the playoffs," Frazier explained. "I felt like my dreams were not fulfilled because we didn't have the type of team success that these kids are having now.

"So to be able to come back and be a part of the program again, and seeing these kids have this type of success -- it's just amazing."

Frazier's coaching doesn't just take place between the lines of the court: he's placed a special emphasis on learning the history of Paxon basketball, bringing former players in to speak to the team.

He's been aided by his point guard, Golden Eagles legacy, Maurice Willie Jr., whose father played with Frazier at Paxon.

"Ever since I was little, I always knew I'd be at Paxon," the sophomore guard explained. "There's a lot of history here at Paxon! They had a good team also -- with Coach T.Y. from Forrest Hill.

"But they definitely didn't have the chemistry we have."

That chemistry -- which began in the fourth grade, when many of the Golden Eagles started playing together -- has proven to be contagious.

"The thing that I didn't realize coming into this: the season that we're having, how much pride these kids have instilled in the community," Frazier said. "Like, you have alumni that come back and they wanna speak to them. I've gotten phone calls from former students saying 'I can stick my chest out now!' 'I want a t-shirt!'"

"The whole community's behind us. They want us to succeed," Adams said. "To come back for the first time since 1965 and bring a championship? It's very surreal."