Songaila ups Hornets’ Prosser connection to four

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

When the Hornets acquired Darius Songaila in a September trade, it meant that roughly one-fourth of the team’s players under contract for 2009-10 share the same college coach, Skip Prosser. David West, one of four current Hornets who chose to play for Prosser in school, says that may be no coincidence.

“I don’t think it’s by accident,” West said.

Along with the two-time All-Star power forward, James Posey played for Prosser – who died after a heart attack in July 2007 – at Xavier (Ohio). After Prosser took over the head coaching job at Wake Forest, he coached both Songaila and Chris Paul.

After he was drafted by the Hornets in 2003, West was told by Prosser that Prosser knew Jeff Bower relatively well. Bower is now New Orleans’ general manager, but has served in a prominent role in the organization since his arrival in 1996. West believes that successful Prosser players often share much in common.

“It’s just a mindset. We all have the same mindset about winning, about competition and getting better,” said West, who has twice finished in the top 10 of the NBA’s Most Improved Player balloting. “Those were the type of guys Coach (Prosser) brought in. Coach was all about guys who weren’t given anything. They were going to work for it.”