Sioux Falls, S.D. (Oct. 30, 2012) – The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today that first-year head coach Joel Abelson has filled out his basketball operations staff for the 2012-13 season. Darren Kohne, DeSean Hadley and Jermaine Byrd have been named assistant coaches while Scott Schroeder and Justin Van Kooten will serve as director of basketball operations and basketball operations assistant, respectively.
“I feel very fortunate to have put together a staff of such experienced basketball people,” said Abelson. “Each member of my staff will bring a different perspective but all bring a tremendous work ethic. We are all in market and excited to get the season started.”
Kohne served as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for the men’s basketball team at Central Michigan University from 2006-12. For three straight years (2009, 2010 and 2011) and four times overall (2007), CMU’s recruiting class was ranked atop the Mid-American Conference by hoopsonline.com. Prior to his six-year run at CMU, Kohne was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin State University (2003-06) and High Point University (2002-03) in addition to serving as an administrative assistant at Bowling Green State University (2000-02).
Hadley served as an assistant coach with the Idaho Stampede the past two seasons. He appeared in 69 career games (21 starts) in the NBA Development League with the Stampede (53) and Skyforce (16). He averaged 14.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 180 career games in the Continental Basketball Association with the Skyforce (48), Stampede (47), Great Lakes Storm (48) and Flint Fuze (37). The Eastern Michigan University graduate had an outstanding season with the Skyforce in 2004-05 as he was named All-League Second Team, participated in the All-Star Game and helped the franchise capture the 2005 CBA Championship.
Byrd was an assistant coach for the Tulsa 66ers last season after serving as video coordinator (2010-11) and basketball operations assistant (2009-10) the previous two seasons. He served as an assistant coach for the USA Men’s Basketball team that earned a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games. Prior to his arrival in Tulsa, Byrd held the role of director of basketball operations for the University of Houston women’s basketball team from 2006-08. He enjoyed a successful playing career at the University of Sioux Falls as he helped lead the team to its first Final Four appearance in school history in 2003-04.
Schroeder covered the NBA D-League extensively the past few seasons as the lead blogger for Ridiculous Upside. In addition to his work at RU, he contributed as a writer for NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk, SB Nation and AOL FanHouse. He held the position of media/public relations director for the Dakota Wizards (2009-10) and director of operations for the Minot Skyrockets (2008-09) after working part-time with the Wizards from 2006-08. The Bismarck, N.D. native graduated from Bemidji State University in May of 2009 with a degree in Sport Management.
Van Kooten served as head coach and assistant coach for the Southwest Minnesota Stars AAU basketball program and also assisted with the Roosevelt High School basketball program the past two summers. He was an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Baltic High School last season. A four-year member of the basketball team at Dordt College, Van Kooten is also a part-time basketball specialist at Sanford POWER TIBBS Basketball Academy.
Season tickets and 12-ticket flex packs for the 2012-13 season are on sale. Discounts and benefits are available for groups of 10 or more. Single game tickets will go on sale on Friday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. The home opener is set for Saturday, Nov. 24 against the Iowa Energy. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT at the Sioux Falls Arena. For more information please contact a Skyforce representative at (605) 332-0605.