“I’ve been through this before and kind of knew what would happen early. It took Cheryl Reeve nearly 10 years in the WNBA to become a head coach. After all of it — the truncated season, battling outbreaks, rescheduling games, etc. Adding that third assistant spot and encouraging that it be an ex-player was one step, but Reeve last offseason also created a running spreadsheet of all the retired players she knows to be interested in coaching. PLAYER Player Name. Waseca cop shot in the head gets hero's welcome home, Trump 'running angry,' attacks polls, press and Dr. Fauci, Red flags before 2-year-old foster child's death, her family's lawsuit says, Pandemic pushes down Minnesota kindergarten enrollment, Judge puts Wisconsin capacity limit order back into effect, 6 Russian military officers charged in vast hacking campaign, Northern Minnesota congressional race reflects shifting political allegiances, 'I loved Sid.' . Despite clicking so quickly with the Lynx, none of Reeve’s assistants expected to be coaches as they neared retirement. And then Reeve went home and thought about it. Like any other stop that I have made, Minnesota was a formative part of my journey.”, While sitting about four months away from the start of the 2020 season for the Minnesota Lynx and the rest of the WNBA in mid-May, things are […], (Screenshot from Storrs Central on Youtube). I am credentialed basketball media member with work at SB Nation, OZY Sports and FanSided. Head Coach Cheryl Reeve (College - La Salle) Assistant Coach Katie Smith (College - Ohio State University) Assistant Coach Plenette Pierson (College - Texas Tech University) Print Page. Growing up watching Kevin Garnett bang his head against the basket stanchion in his No. There are more former NBA players (Laimbeer and Derek Fisher) coaching in the WNBA than veterans of the league itself. Becoming the eighth head coach in New York’s franchise history prior to the start of the year, the 34-year-old Hopkins has been tasked with leading a young Liberty squad within the bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. during the 2020 campaign. The priority is always to make life easier on Reeve and get the most out of the roster, Pierson said. Katie Smith (born June 4, 1974) is lead assistant coach for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). ... Minnesota … 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu, the oldest player on New York is seven-year veteran Layshia Clarendon. “From all the places that I’ve gotten to coach and learn, you can make it work as long as it’s authentic and consistent. “I put a lot of thought into these upcoming decisions because I love this city and this organization and always want to make sure I do what’s best for them, my family and the game,” said Brunson. in 2012 as the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers made and was a first-team all-conference selection as a senior. The strength of their relationship coupled with the ex-players’ passion and knowledge has made for a great fit from the start. “It’s been a lot of fun. Matthew Kirwin, Sports Africa Network for ESPN, Brunson retires, joins Lynx staff as assistant, Sue Bird turns 40: The evolution and revolution of Seattle's point guard, Why the Seattle Storm's most challenging opponent might be the salary cap, Bird backs Rapinoe on soccer-WNBA contrast, Wings, Agler agree to part ways after 2 seasons, WNBA's Diggins-Smith: 'Season over, work is not', Ex-WNBA star Pondexter found safe, agent says, Ionescu eyes playing overseas to prep for 2021, Stewart named Finals MVP as Storm win 4th title, Emotional Loyd dedicates Storm's title to Kobe, Can Storm repeat? Smith learned under Reeve’s mentor, the basketball lifer Bill Laimbeer, and took over for him as head coach of the Liberty in 2018. At the league’s clean site in Bradenton, Fla., Reeve also took part in a roundtable organized by Las Vegas Aces assistant and 15-year veteran Tanisha Wright, answering questions of active assistants and even current players who wanted to know more about coaching. Not all WNBA teams have a staff with such relative youth and experience. “In that, I have decided to retire as a player and join the Minnesota Lynx coaching staff. But now they can actually see and feel how it’s done. I cover the Phoenix Suns as well as the broader NBA and WNBA, "My Vote" T-shirts during a game against the Indiana Fever at Feld Entertainment Center on August 07, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida. Teams only were allowed to hire that third assistant beginning in 2017, when Reeve hired Hopkins. Brunson, 38, appeared in five All-Star Games and went to the WNBA Finals eight times in 15 seasons. — the best two teams in baseball will square off in the World Series. Sid Hartman was the first person Bud Grant met in 1946 when his grandparents dropped him off at the University of Minnesota as a highly touted recruit who would star in three sports for the Gophers. What better way to make sure the veterans don’t get worn out and the kids get coached up? (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images). Among others, there’s Chasity Melvin in Phoenix, Le’Coe Willingham in Indiana, and of course Wright in Las Vegas, who was hired — not surprisingly — by Laimbeer. The addition of Pierson, who retired following the 2017 season with the Lynx, is a bit more surprising but understandable at the same time. “It’s fun because it constantly keeps you on your toes and constantly requires that you’re on. “It will be fun to let ’em know,” Brunson said. Reeve called the favoritism toward men a “tired, old narrative” and highlighted how nepotism and professional pacts decide more jobs than actual qualification and experience. Even with the early-season struggles, Hopkins has leaned on his relationship with Patterson and the rest of his coaching staff while he begins to work through and continues to learn in the first year at the helm in New York. “I never felt like it was something missing,” Brunson said, “but I’m very grateful on this team especially that we’re coaching right now because they are a young group, they need somebody that has that, and if you’re not a team that is surrounded by vets that have been there, it helps that they can come to us and ask some of the questions that they might (ask) of a player who had been in the league 10 years.”. “It was a classic Cheryl comment of ‘congratulations, we’ll circle the calendar.’ But it was light-hearted,” Hopkins recalled. According to the team, Pierson will assist in the Lynx talent evaluation, scouting and assist in the team’s player development in her new role. I have to think of it as any other game because if I think of it in any other way, that will get in the way of what I’m trying to do as a coach.”. Although it will be business as usual for both teams as soon as the ball tips off Wednesday night, there are plenty of ties between the Lynx and Liberty as they square off against each other for the first time this year. He comes to Zone Coverage with over seven years of experience in journalism, communications and digital fields, including five years at a newspaper covering various sports teams and a year-plus stint covering the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx as the organization's Web Editorial Associate. Those memories won’t leave him either, which will make things a little odd for Hopkins when his new team takes on his former squad for the first time on Wednesday. That means quarantining before going into the “bubble” and staying there for the duration. At Wayne State, Pierson spent time working primarily with post players development, prepared opponent scouting reports and spent time recruited future players. “We know what they’ve gone through. Duwelius, 31, ended her career as a guard at Division II Wayne State (Neb.) You’re the person that addresses everything that pops up and make the final call on. PAUL, MN - AUGUST 22: Assistant coach Shelley Patterson of the Minnesota Lynx coaches before the game against the Phoenix Mercury on August 22, 2017 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. We’re not that far removed from the game. For starters, Hopkins is in his first season at the helm of the Liberty, a position he took this offseason after spending three seasons in Minnesota on Cheryl Reeve’s assistant coaching staff. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to the Minnesota Lynx organization, this time in a coaching capacity,” Pierson said in the statement. “Plenette has a bright future as a coach and I’m really excited to have her back with the Lynx. Going into Wednesday night’s contest against the Lynx, the Liberty have struggled to begin the year with a winless record of 0-4 overall. “It’s like anything. “I get the best of both worlds.”. Cap on rosters inside the WNBA "bubble" will force Lynx, others to get creative. Minnesota head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve and the organization announced Thursday that it has hired former three-time WNBA champion and former Lynx player Plenette Pierson as an assistant coach, as well as promoted current assistant coach Walt Hopkins to a full-time assistant coaching role alongside Shelley Patterson.
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