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Local Coach Named as Denver Nuggets
2005-2006 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year


NEW YORK, Apr. 7 – The NBA and WNBA announced today, James Cates of Peterson Air Force Base was selected as one of the top youth league coaches chosen from the nearly 75,000 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA coaches in the United States, Canada and abroad.

Coach Cates proves to be an inspiration to anyone that plays for him. He took a group of unskilled participants and taught them to have the confidence to learn and develop. He produced a team of winners, encouraging them and teaching the importance of good sportsmanship on and off the court. Stressing the importance of education, Cates assists his players in with any academic struggles and ensure that each team member must make the grade to be able to participate in basketball.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year program recognizes member coaches who stand out, both on and off the court, exemplify and teach the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA S.T.A.R.qualities (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude, Respect) a nd represent the hard work and dedication that make youth sports a rewarding developmental experience for players, parents, officials and other coaches. Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Coaches of the Year were chosen from member leagues throughout the United States and Canada as well as abroad.

“There were hundreds of worthy candidates, highlighting both the success of the Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA program and the passion, commitment and excellence that youth coaches bring to kids in representing the goals of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA,” said Kathy Behrens senior vice president NBA Community and Player Programs.

Earlier this season, Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA member league directors around the world had the opportunity to nominate up to three coaches (male or female) from their league as a 2005-06 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year. The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Selection Committee evaluated the coaches on eight categories including preparation, teaching and ethics. The committee also examined the league directors’ evaluation forms and letters from parents, players or other coaches associated with the nominee.

“The leadership of these coaches has provided a positive example of sportsmanship and teamwork for youngsters to learn from and practice on and off of the court,” said Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics Head Coach and Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Advisory Council Member.

The following coaches were selected as the 2005-06 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Coaches of the Year:

MarketNominee's NameOrganizationCityState
AtlantaCraig HubbardGlynn County Recreation & Parks BrunswickGA
BostonCharles BurnsNewport Recreation DepartmentNewport NewsRI
CharlotteMaurice CrawfordWest Gastonia Boys & Girls ClubGastoniaNC
ChicagoMartin TateBoys & Girls Club of the OzarksBransonMO
ClevelandAndres GonzalezBrook Park Recreation Center Brook ParkOH
ConnecticutMike ShaneHamden Regional Youth Basketball LeagueHamdenCT
DallasPrentice RichmondRoseland Community CenterDallasTX
DenverJames CatesPeterson Air Force BasePeterson AFBCO
DetroitCorry SumnerJCC of Metro DetroitWest BloomfieldMI
Golden StateAnthony BaldalzoPittsburg Jr. Warriors Basketball PittsburghCA
HoustonArkez HarrisNYBLHouston TX
IndianaRob HaydenRiverside Youth BasketballIndianapolisIN
LA ClippersSandra VargasHubert H. Humphrey R.C.PacoimaCA
LA LakersMarcus D. Johnson Hickam Air Force Base Youth Sports & FitnessHickam Air Force BaseHI
MemphisKelly LoopBoys & Girls Club of the Arkansas River ValleyRussellvilleAR
MiamiMilor DagobertLauderhill/Lauderdale Lakes YMCALauderhill FL
MilwaukeeWilliam SmithD.W. WildcatsMilwaukeeWI
MinnesotaGreg MaehrenMinneapolis Parks & RecreationMinneapolisMN
New JerseyMarian TorrisiOur Lady of Mount Carmel Englewood CliffsNJ
New OrleansReuben BurdUpward Basketball BiloxiMS
New YorkWilliam ThomasPrimetime of North AmericaNew York NY
OrlandoVince PyrceMelbourne PALMelbourneFL
PhiladelphiaRobyn RawlesLa Liga del BarrioPhiladelphiaPA
PhoenixThomas PhillipsSW Valley Regional YMCAGoodyear AZ
PortlandCurtis WaiteKlamath Falls YMCAKlamath FallsOR
San AntonioJustin RoachPizza Hut/Spurs Drug Free Youth Basketball League (PAL)San Antonio TX
SacramentoGreg NathansonJFSRSacramento CA
OrlandoVince PyrceMelbourne PALMelbourneFL
SeattleJeff Suskay Fort Lewis / McChordMcChord AFBWA
TorontoDave WintersQueen of Peace After School Basketball ProgramHappy Valley Goose Bay NL
WashingtonJoe BrafordFluvanna County Parks & RecreationFork Union VA
EuropeKelli Moon The Hayesbrook SchoolTonbridge, KentEngland

As part of NBA Cares, the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA helps develop a life-long passion for the game of basketball by providing a support structure that encourages participation and makes the game fun and rewarding for the over 2 million players, coaches, officials and parents involved in the program globally. Entering its fifth season, the league emphasizes fundamental skill development, teamwork, sportsmanship and positive adult participation in a fun and rewarding youth basketball experience where young players can create a bond with the game while learning what it takes to be successful away from the court, all at no cost.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA provides materials to players, parents, coaches and officials created by a distinguished group of experts, including nationally-recognized youth sports expert Rick Wolff, the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), nutritionist, Dr. Jackie Berning, and the Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA Advisory Council comprised of Ray Allen (Seattle Supersonics), Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Danny Crawford (NBA Official), Lisa Mattingly (WNBA Official), Suzie McConnell Serio (head coach of the Minnesota Lynx), Doc Rivers (head coach of the Boston Celtics), Tina Thompson (Houston Comets) and Bill Walton (Hall-of-Famer and ABC/ESPN analyst).

NBA Cares is the league's global community outreach initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues. Over the next five years, the league, players and teams will raise and contribute $100 million for charity, donate more than 1 million hours of hands-on volunteer service to communities around the world, and build more than 100 places where kids can learn and play. NBA Cares will work with internationally-recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes including: UNICEF; Reading Is Fundamental; Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Charities Aid Foundation; American/International Red Cross; Feed the Children, and many others.