DES MOINES, Iowa, March 27, 2007 — Iowa Basketball, LLC, announced today an all-Iowa coaching staff for its new NBA Development League Team. Former University of Northern Iowa player Nick Nurse has been named as the new Iowa team’s first head coach. The team’s coaching staff includes a second well-known name in Iowa basketball, former Drake coach Gary Garner.
“Nick Nurse and Gary Garner bring passion, leadership and excitement to the game of basketball in Iowa,” said Gary Kirke, an investor in the expansion team. “We are fortunate to have coaches with their national and international reputations and experience who want to be part of bringing NBA-sponsored professional basketball to Iowa.”
“I am thrilled to be back in Iowa with the NBA Development League,” said Nurse. “This is home, but more than that, this is the right time for professional basketball in Iowa. Wells Fargo Arena is a great place to play ball, and the support is already mounting for this team. It’s an honor to be selected to be a part of sports history in my home state.”
Prior to his move to the BBL, Nurse was an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks Summer League Team during the 2000 season.
Garner joins Nurse as assistant coach of the NBA pro team. He was the third winningest coach in Drake history during his seven seasons as head coach from 1981-1988. His 1986 Drake team advanced to the NIT tournament. While coaching at Drake, he was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1982 and was runner-up for the same honor in 1986.
Over a period of two seasons from 1995 to 1997 his Fort Hays State University team had a winning streak of 49 games, the fourth longest in the history of college basketball. After the 1996-97 season, Garner was named Basketball Times NCAA Division II Coach of the Year and in 1996 was named “Coach of the Year” by the Sears/National Association of Basketball Coaches. Garner then moved on to Southeast Missouri State University, where he the 2000 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year.
“These two basketball names are going to be able to recruit and develop great talent for this team,” said Paul Drey, an investor in the team. “Their names carry a lot of weight in Iowa and this announcement is going to create excitement for the team.”
Iowa NBA D-League expansion team was announced on February 27 at Wells Fargo Arena.
Nick Nurse – Career Highlights
Gary Garner – Career Highlights