Rookie Sydney Kings NBL head coach Andrew Gaze will get some high profile and familiar help with former teammate Lanard Copeland and Dean Vickerman signed as his assistants.
With the Kings' new owners determined to rebuild the struggling Kings, the seasoned Vickerman arrives after eight successful seasons with the New Zealand Breakers, six as an assistant then two as head coach when they won the 2013-14 NBL title and reached the 2015-16 grand final series.
Our New Head Coach Andrew Gaze! We couldn't be more excited! pic.twitter.com/rGVfi0bvvp— Sydney Kings (@SydneyKings) April 1, 2016
He previously did two years as assistant to Gaze's father Lindsay with the Melbourne Tigers where he worked closely with Gaze while he was still playing.
American-born NBL great Copeland comes in off following a stellar playing career with first steps into coaching at lower levels.
He played for both the Philadelphia 76ers and LA Clippers before arriving in Australia in 1992 where he went on to play 449 games over 13 years with Australian legend Gaze at the Melbourne Tigers, helping them to two NBL championships.
Gaze was appointed to the head coaching role despite not having served any real apprenticeship.
"We are ecstatic to secure not only two of the highest profile names in the NBL, but men who have a proven track record working with the head coach," said Kings managing director Jeff Van Groningen, who is himself a former general manager of Melbourne Tigers.
The strong Melbourne Tigers connection to the Kings is ironic given that Gaze and Copeland were arch-enemies for Kings fans in the days when the two teams had a heated rivalry in the early 1990s.