3 NBA Stars Turned College Basketball Coaches
Youth sports are often dismissed in the rest of the world – except in the case of soccer, where some of the biggest stars and most expensive players are still in their teens. So, becoming a youth coach is not seen as the most brilliant career development. In the US, though, things are different – college sports receive a great deal of attention and are covered by the leading sports portals and bookmakers around the world, from sports portals in Romania to betting apps in Vietnam.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that NCAA basketball coaches are often players with brilliant NBA careers behind them.
At the beginning of his professional career, Mark Price was called “too small, too slow, and too deliberate” for a high-level game, all this in spite of his impressive Georgia Tech record. Of course, he has proven them wrong by helping turn the Cleveland Cavaliers into an Eastern Conference “powerhouse.”
In his 12-year career, Price has collected quite a few accolades, was a four-time All-Star, two-time NBA Three-Point Contest champion, and pioneered the splitting of the double team.
Price’s college coaching career was by far not as successful as his time with the NBA – the Charlotte 49ers let him go after just two seasons after the team only won 27 games under his helm.
Reggie Theus always kept his average around 20 points while playing for the Chicago Bulls, the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings, and many other teams over his 15-year career. Upon retiring from active duty, he continued his career in college basketball, leading teams like the New Mexico State Aggies (that he turned from a 6-24 squad into a 16–14 team in a year) and the Cal State Northridge Matadors that he led to the Big West Tournament final in 2013.
Theus was a two-time All-Star and his jersey was retired by both UNLV and Inglewood.
Patrick Ewing played center for Georgetown for four years, becoming the 16th greatest college basketball player of all time per ESPN. Then he moved on to the NBA, spending his next 15 years playing as the starting center for the New York Knicks. During this time, he became an 11-time All-Star, won two Olympic gold medals, played in two NBA Finals, was inducted twice in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, not to mention that the Kicks retired his number 33 jersey in 2003.
Upon retiring from active duty, he worked as an assistant coach for teams like the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets, and the Orlando Magic before returning to his alma mater as the head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas in 2017, a position he holds to this day.