Kings Basketball Operations Update

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento Kings announced today several Basketball Operations updates and an addition within the team’s scouting department, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

Peja Stojakovic will serve as Vice President of Basketball and Team Development after spending the previous two seasons as VP of Player Personnel and Development. He will continue to assist Divac and the front office in all aspects of team and talent evaluation as well as player development. The former Kings standout and NBA champion is entering his third campaign as an executive with Sacramento after a 13-year playing career.  

Joelle Terry enters her third season with the organization and first as Senior Vice President of Communications. In this capacity, Terry leads business and basketball communications strategy and oversees the team’s digital media, production and broadcasting efforts. Prior to joining the Kings, she served as Director of Government Communications at Comcast NBCUniversal and also worked in the White House from 2009 to 2011 as Deputy Director of Message Events. A Sacramento native, Terry graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego.   

Anthony McClish has been named Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the Reno Bighorns, the Kings G-League affiliate after spending the previous four campaigns in various capacities, most recently as a senior operations manager. McClish will assist with talent evaluation and day-to-day operation of the Kings front office in addition to his duties as Bighorns GM. The Lima, Ohio native is a 2012 Ohio State University graduate and former manager of the Buckeyes Women’s Basketball team.

Bill Pope is entering his first season as the Kings Director of Pro Personnel after serving the previous four years as a personnel and advance scout. Prior to joining the organization, he spent nine seasons with the Detroit Pistons serving in similar roles. Pope’s resume includes 15 years in the collegiate ranks, including six as Head Coach at Lincoln University where he garnered Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2001. The 1988 University of Kansas graduate was a manager of the Jawhawks Men’s Basketball team.

Mark Toyoda was named Senior Manager of Basketball Administration after serving the previous two seasons in a similar capacity. In addition to oversight of administrative expenses, Toyoda manages departmental finances and helps coordinate basketball operations logistics. The Chicago, Illinois native is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a law degree from the University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Gene Cross returns to the Kings as a regional scout for his second stint with the organization after spending the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach with the Reno Bighorns. Cross brings more than two decades of coaching experience to his new role, including stops as a head coach for the Erie Bayhawks (2012-14) and most recently, Rayos de Hermosillo (Sonora, Mexico). A Chicago native, he played collegiate basketball at the University of Illinois from 1989 to 1994. 

Robbie Lemons begins his second season with the organization and first as Basketball Operations Coordinator, responsible for helping prepare, maintain and distribute all scouting materials. A Sacramento native, the 2015 Stanford graduate earned First-Team PAC-12 All-Academic honors as a member of the Cardinal basketball team (2010-2014). Lemons secured his public policy MA in Palo Alto and MSC in banking and finance from Newcastle University.   

Ramsey Nijem, entering his fourth season in Sacramento and nearing completion of his Ph.D. in Human and Sport Performance, has been named Head Performance and Strength Coach. A Bay Area native and UC Santa Barbara alumnus, Nijem oversees aspects of sports performance, including strength and conditioning, sport science and nutrition.

Aung Aye begins his third campaign with the Kings and first as Manual Therapist and Assistant Athletic Trainer following two seasons in a similar capacity. A certified member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) and licensed massage therapist, Aye also spent five years with the Seattle Sounders FC. The Pacific Northwest native earned degrees in humanities from the University of Washington and athletic training at Chapman University.  

Ernest DeLosAngeles joins the Kings organization as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Reno Bighorns after spending two years as the Assistant Director of Athletic Training at the University of the Pacific where his responsibilities included medical coverage and rehabilitation and recovery for the soccer and track and field teams. A certified Athletic Trainer, DeLosAngeles also has experience working with the San Francisco 49ers and Stockton Heat (IHL).

Akachi Okugo starts his second season with the organizationand first as Player Development Coordinator. In his new role, he will assist Kings player development coaches to define, organize and facilitate individual skills workouts. A Jesuit High School (Carmichael, CA) alumnus, Okugo went on to play collegiate basketball at Grand Canyon University, Yuba College and Cal State San Marcos.    

Penny Chatzis joins the Kings as the Executive Assistant to the General Manager and Player Services Administrator responsible for assisting Vlade Divac in basketball administration as well as coordination of the Kings player services efforts. A Sacramento native, Chatzis is a Sacramento State graduate with a master’s degree in education.   

Melanie Stocking enters her 13th season with the Kings and first as Manager of Basketball Operations. In her new role, Stocking provides broad administrative support to the coaching staff and front office, while being the department liaison on facilities, contracts, supplies and equipment related issues. A native of Winters, California, Stocking is a Sonoma State University graduate.   

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