NEW YORK and GREENVILLE, S.C., Aug. 15 -- Stephanie Ready, who will become the first woman to coach in men's professional sports, has been named assistant coach of the Greenville Groove in the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), the NBA's new minor league.

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"This is a unique and challenging opportunity," said Ready. "Not only am I part of the launch of this new league, but I have the opportunity to help basketball players reach their full potential and develop my coaching skills as a member of the NBA family."

"Stephanie is a high-potential coach with established credentials from a quality Division I collegiate program who is ready for the next level," said Karl Hicks, Senior Director of Basketball Operations, NBDL.

Ready spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach of the men's basketball program at Coppin State College under Ron "Fang" Mitchell, and was the first and only female full-time recruiting assistant on staff of a men's basketball program in the NCAA Division I.

Ready
Stephanie Ready is the first woman to be named assistant coach of a men's professional team.
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"Coach Ready knows the game of basketball, has a proven track record at the collegiate level of helping players develop their skills, and comes highly recommended," said Milton Barnes, head coach of the Greenville Groove.

Ready, 25, was hired as Coppin State College's head women's volleyball coach in 1998 after graduating from the school earlier that same year. She was then hired as the assistant men's basketball coach in 1999.

Ready was a four-year starter on the varsity women's basketball team after walking on as a freshman, and was captain of both the women's basketball and volleyball teams during her senior year. She finished her career ranked among the school's all-time top 10 in points, rebounds, assists and steals before graduating Cum Laude from Coppin State with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Greenville, S.C., and the BI-LO Center were granted an NBDL team on May 31, 2001. The NBDL named Aaron Jones team president on June 7 and Barnes head coach on June 11. Barnes coached the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters this past season after serving as head coach for four years at Eastern Michigan University (1996-2000) where he led his team to the Mid-American Conference Championship in 1997-98 and earned a berth in the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament.

The Greenville Groove will tip off its inaugural season in the NBDL on Nov. 16 live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET versus the North Charleston Lowgators, led by Hall of Famer and head coach Alex English.

The National Basketball Development League will tip off its inaugural season in November 2001. The Fayetteville Patriots (N.C.), North Charleston Lowgators (S.C.), Huntsville Flight (Ala.), Mobile Revelers (Ala.), Roanoke Dazzle (Va.), Columbus Riverdragons (Ga.), Greenville Groove (S.C.), and Asheville Altitude (N.C.) will compete in a 56-game regular season schedule that runs from mid-November through March, followed by playoffs. A total of 24 games will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN starting on opening night. Regular weekly coverage will begin in December 2001 and continue throughout the regular season and playoffs.

Designed to help grow the sport of basketball both domestically and internationally, the NBDL offers players the opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA's umbrella. In addition to being a source of on-court talent for the NBA's 29 teams, the NBDL will also serve as a diverse human resources pool for the NBA and its teams by training employees in management, operations, public relations, sales and marketing positions in each NBDL city.

NBDL players must be 20 years of age or older to play in the league. NBDL teams will not have a direct affiliation with specific NBA teams. Development league players will be eligible to play for any NBA team.

In addition to launching this new professional basketball league, the NBA and Clear Channel Entertainment, a leading producer and promoter of live entertainment, have formed a joint alliance to offer NBDL cities the opportunity to experience world-class live entertainment not traditionally available in their metropolitan areas. For more information on the NBDL, visit www.NBDL.com.