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|Left-to-Right: Donnie Nelson, Del Harris, Nancy Lieberman, Spud Webb|
November 5, 2009
Frisco, Texas -– Donnie Nelson and Evan Wyly, co-owners of Frisco’s NBA Development League team, announced today the hiring of three prominent basketball veterans to lead the Metroplex’s newest professional sports team. Nelson and Wyly have tapped Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman as the franchise’s first head coach, while former NBA head coach Del Harris will be the team’s general manager and former NBA superstar Anthony “Spud” Webb will become president of basketball operations.
Lieberman, widely considered one of the most influential figures in women’s basketball history, will become the first female head coach to lead an NBA or NBA D-League team. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 after a decorated career. She played four years at Old Dominion University where she won back-to-back national championships, was a three-time Kodak All-American and twice won the Wade Trophy given to the National Player of the Year. Lieberman went on to a prolific professional career in a number of leagues. She holds the distinction of being the oldest player to play in the WNBA, was the first female to play for a men’s professional basketball team when she played for the Springfield Fame of the USBL and took part in two NBA Summer Leagues (Lakers, 1980 and Jazz, 1986). From 1998-2000, Lieberman served as the general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock and has been a basketball analyst for ESPN from 1981-2009.
Harris brings over 50 years of coaching experience to his role as general manager. Harris has served three stints as an NBA head coach and holds a career record of 556-457 (.549 winning percentage). Harris led the Houston Rockets to a Western Conference Championship in his first NBA head coaching job before making stops with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. In Los Angeles, he led the Lakers to three consecutive 50-win seasons and was named Coach of the Year in 1994-95. Harris’ ties to the Metroplex began in 2000 when he became an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks until 2007. He and his family reside in Frisco.
Webb, a Dallas native, enjoyed a 12-year career with Atlanta (twice), Sacramento, Minnesota and Orlando. In 814 career games, Webb averaged 9.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 24.9 minutes per game. Webb, who was the first athlete under six-feet tall to win the Slam Dunk Contest, attended Midland Junior College (Midland, Texas) after graduating from Wilmer-Hutchins High School. Webb earned NJCAA All-America honors before transferring to North Carolina State where he averaged 10.0 points and helped the Wolfpack to a Sweet 16 appearance. He is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Nelson, Lieberman, Harris and Webb will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs on November 7 and 8 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Dr Pepper Center in Frisco where the team will be holding its first select-a-seat open house event. For more information please call 214.469.0822.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and featured 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams during the 2008-09 season. This fall, two new NBA Development League teams will begin play in Portland, Maine and Springfield, Mass.-- the birthplace of basketball. Eighty-four former NBA Development League players were on 2008-09 NBA end-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 20 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Development League Cares programs. The NBA Development League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA Development League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at www.nba.com/futurecast.