Alabama A&M hires ex-NBA Nigeria national team coach Otis Hughley Jr.

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HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Alabama A&M has hired Olympic coach and former NBA coach Otis Hughley, Jr. as the Bulldogs’ men’s basketball head coach.

“It’s an honor to be named head coach of the men’s basketball program Alabama A & M,” Hughley said. “I would like to thank Dr. Daniel Wims, Bryan Hicks and the entire search committee for their confidence in me to lead this program and develop the young men both athletically and academically. I’m excited to get to work with our young men and immerse myself as part of the Bulldog family.”

A veteran talent developer at the high school, college, professional, international and Olympic levels, Hughley is a well-known figure at virtually every level of basketball.

He began his college basketball coaching career as the men’s and women’s head coach at Wallace Community College – Selma from 1993-97, posting a 135-46 record and winning two men’s conference championships and a second. regional place.

He then moved to Wright State the following year and played a key role in recruiting Kevin Melson, a player who would go on to be named league newcomer of the year and conference first team. He would continue that high level of recruiting at Liberty in 1997-98 where he was in charge of a Top-25 class that included future Memphis Grizzlies player Antonio Burks.

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Three years later, Hughley would get a taste of the league he will now coach in when he joined legendary 500-game winner Ben Jobe as associate head coach at Southern in 2001-02. While there, he served as scouting coordinator while helping with practice planning, skill development, and game preparation and scouting.

“First, I want to thank the search committee for his tireless work in the national search for our next head coach of men’s basketball,” said the sports director of the AAMU Bryan Hicks. “Not only Otis brings a wealth of experience at all possible levels, but it also knows that the Alabama went to school and was a coach in the state. His knowledge of the landscape and its ability to recruit in global and evolving players to the professional ranks is a combination that will benefit the program, and more importantly our student-athletes for years to come.

After a brief foray into international basketball as associate head coach of the Shandong Bulls Goldstone in the Chinese Basketball Association in 2002-03, the Livingston College graduate will return to his adopted state to land the position that will set him on the path to professional and international success.

That position would be head coach at LeFlore High School in Mobile, Alabama from 2004-2010, and one that would see him lead the Rattlers to a 185-20 record, six spots in the Alabama State Final Four and a 6A state championship in 2007. .

After that title, he played a key role in the development of 12-year NBA veteran DeMarcus Cousins ​​from 2007 to 2009, posting a 59-6 record in those two years.

After being on the NBA radar at LeFlore, Hughley would follow Cousins ​​to the Association after being drafted in the first round by the Sacramento Kings, joining the franchise as an assistant coach in 2010-11.

This would be the beginning of a six-year run that would see him spend the 2011-12 campaign in skills development departments and Video Golden State Warriors before returning to the Kings as a scout from 2012-16. During his association with the NBA, Hughley participate in the Chinese league program, opening another door to basketball.

When he came through this, it led to him serving as a consultant for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers and the head coach of the Chinese Taipei men’s and women’s national teams in 2015-16. That same season, he will serve as an assistant coach for the Tianjin Golden Lions in the CBA.

In 2017, his international experience has continued to grow to include women’s football since he was named head coach of the Nigerian women’s national team. In this role, he helped lead the program to three championships African Basketball (2017, 2019, 2021), a global ranking No. 1 in Africa, No. 14 world and a place for the next 2022 World Cup in Sydney Australia. The latter was one of the 12 best teams in the world.

Part of what helped them earn those August rankings was an impressive performance at the 2018 World Cup in Spain. There, they became the first African team to win a game outside the continent when they won three in a row to reach the quarterfinals, beating Turkey No. 7, No. 16 Argentina and Greece n 20 and earned a spot in the Toyko 2020 Olympics where they finished 11th last summer.

“After extensive nationwide research, the committee has recommended the person we believe can best lead our young men on and off the court,” said Rose Magers-Powell, women’s volleyball head coach and Chair of the research Committee. “On behalf of the committee, we welcome the Hughley coach and hope that he and his staff will continue to be the Bulldogs winning on the field and in the classroom.”

Able to drive in Alabama Hughley was also a member of the women’s basketball team from Auburn in 2018-2019, as a consultant for head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. This year, the Tigers produced the best performance of his nine-year tenure with the Tigers, going 22-10.

As part of the circuit of the camps, it was associated with the Pete Newell Big Man Camp for over a decade, which is widely recognized as one of the most influential camps during its existence from 1976 to 2011.

He was also a coach and teacher at Next Level NBA camp longtime NBA player Kike Vandeweghe and was director of the Nike All-Asia camps All-All-Taiwan and the Philippines. Hughley was also coordinator of powers Pro Hoops Combine, which serves as a pre-draft WNBA camp.

Courtesy: Alabama A & M Athletics

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