Former Portland Trailblazers and Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Damon Stoudamire has signed on as head basketball coach at University of the Pacific, a statement from the school announced Wednesday.
But he informed the public of his decision to move to Pacific through the website ThePlayersTribune.com, where L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant also announced his retirement.
In “Letter to My Younger Self,” near the end he refers to his supportive grandmother and says:
Tell her that today, when you’re writing this letter, you’re going to get your first NCAA head coaching job. You’re going to get the opportunity to lead kids, and show them what Lute (Olson, University of Arizona legendary coach) showed you. You’ll get to look them in the eye and tell them the truth.
Tell them that life isn’t a movie. Tell them that they’re going mess up. Tell them that being a grown man isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you work for every day.
You’re the head coach of University of the Pacific.
That’s some news that will really make her proud.
Stoudamire, 42, most recently served as assistant coach with the University of Memphis, where he successfully led the Tigers to a 25-win campaign and into the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. He also saw success at the University of Arizona where he helped them post back-to-back win campaigns in 2014 and 2015.
A one-time NBA Rookie of the Year, Stoudamire played 13 seasons in the league from 1995-2008, first drafted by the Toronto Raptors, moving on to Portland, Memphis and San Antonio, averaging 13.4 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 878 appearances during his playing career, the University said.