Atlanta Hawks Name Assistant Coaches

ATLANTA HAWKS NAME ASSISTANT COACHES
Lester Conner, Bob Bender, Tyrone Hill and Greg Ballard to assist new coach Larry Drew

ATLANTA, GA (July 8, 2010) -- The Atlanta Hawks have announced today that Head Coach Larry Drew has named several members to his coaching staff for the 2010-11 season. Lester Conner will be the newest name amongst the bunch, as Bob Bender, Tyrone Hill and Greg Ballard return for the Hawks.

Conner, Bender and Hill will coach the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League which begins this weekend, with Atlanta taking on Memphis in their first game Monday, July 12 at 9:30 p.m. (ET).

Conner comes to Atlanta from Indiana where he spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Pacers. It was Conner’s third different stint with Pacer coach Jim O’Brien, whom he previously worked for with the Boston Celtics (assistant coach, 2001-04) and Philadelphia 76ers (associate head coach, 2004-05).

This upcoming season will be his 13th on the sidelines, as Conner began his NBA coaching career in 1998 as an assistant to Rick Pitino in 1998 with the Celtics, and has included two seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. He has also served as a scout for the Miami Heat and an assistant coach for the Magic Johnson All-Stars.

A 13-year pro, Conner was a first round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1982. The 14th selection overall, the well-traveled guard spent four seasons with the Warriors before seeing action with Houston, two different stints with both New Jersey and Milwaukee, the LA Clippers and Indiana before concluding his career with the LA Lakers. He also earned a championship as a member of the CBA’s (Continental Basketball Association) Rapid City Thrillers in 1986-87.

Bender just completed his sixth season with Atlanta and his ninth overall with an NBA team. He joined the Hawks following two years as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers, and prior to that position; Bender was the head coach at the University of Washington where he spent nine seasons. He coached the Huskies to four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament (1996-1999), and in 1996, he was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

This season will mark Hill’s fourth with the club and second as an assistant coach. He spent his first two years as a volunteer coach working with the team’s big men. The 6-9 Hill played for five NBA teams during his 14-year career and was originally selected in the first round (11th overall) in the 1990 Draft by the Golden State Warriors.

Returning as an advance scout, Ballard owns 15 years of NBA scouting and coaching experience and this will be his seventh in Atlanta. The former NBA forward played 10 seasons for Washington and Golden State, and in 1978, helped the Bullets (now Wizards) to the NBA Championship.