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Orlando Magic Assistant Coach Bruce Kreutzer to be Inducted Into Pearl River Sports Hall of Fame

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – Always keep working.

That’s been a longtime motto for Orlando Magic Assistant Coach Bruce Kreutzer, who’s played and coached the game of basketball at a variety of levels over the course of the last 60-plus years. It’s a lesson that was instilled in him during his tenure at Pearl River High School in Rockland County, New York.

There, Kreutzer learned the true value of a strong work ethic as he spent several summers refining his game before eventually becoming a varsity basketball player worthy of All-Conference honors.

That approach of working day-by-day towards incremental growth is one that he’s taken with him over his hoops career and attempted to instill in all the athletes he’s coached and touched along the way.

Thus, it’s only fitting that on Saturday, April 8, Kreutzer will return to the place where his basketball journey began to be inducted into the Pearl River Sports Hall of Fame.

“It’s one of those moments where you just sit there and go ‘are you sure you want to talk to me?’ But to get that (call), it was really neat,” said Kreutzer.

While his humbleness is appreciated, the 72-year-old NBA assistant coach has amassed quite the resume fully worthy of an induction. Along with being an all-county basketball player, he was also a varsity baseball standout. Following his true passion, Kreutzer went on to play basketball collegiately at Rockland Community College – where coincidentally he’ll tip off a new series “Life After the Rock!” as a guest speaker on Friday – and then, State University of New York at New Paltz.

Eventually, Kreutzer transitioned to coaching. Among his many stops, he was head coach at Garinger High School, where he led the team to the 4A Boys North Carolina State High School Championship in 1989. Kreutzer was also post graduate head coach at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., developing more than 20 Division I players during his tenure.

Kreutzer served as an assistant coach at both Queens University in Charlotte – helping them reach the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2003 – and UNC Charlotte.

From 2006-08, he was head coach of the Atlanta Vision of the ABA for two seasons, where his team won the Southern Division and made an Elite Eight appearance.

After serving as a shooting consultant for the NBA G League (2008-11) and Philadelphia 76ers (2008-10), Kreutzer joined Steve Clifford’s staff in Charlotte for three seasons (2015-18) as an assistant coach.

During that tenure, he was notably credited with assisting in the vast shooting improvement of Kemba Walker, who went on to become a perennial All-Star.

“Bruce has his way of shooting and then he’s adaptable,” Clifford previously told OrlandoMagic.com. “He watches every guy shoot. He shows them what he sees in their shot, and they come to a common place on what adjustments should be made before they ever start out on the court. So, they have a plan that they’re both comfortable with before they start. And Bruce is relentless. Bruce loves to be in the gym and when (players) walk in the gym, he’s right there waiting for them.”

When Clifford was named head coach of the Magic in 2018, he brought the shooting guru with him. After Clifford’s departure in 2021, current Magic Head Coach Jamahl Mosley retained Kreutzer as an assistant coach on his staff, valuing his experience and calming demeanor.

“Guys gravitate to him,” Mosley explained. “He’s done a great job with our guys. He’s that calming factor in a lot of ways. The level that experience that he’s had is really big time.”

While Kreutzer has worked with players up and down Orlando’s roster, he’s spent extensive time over the last three seasons with point guard Markelle Fultz, who’s posted the best shooting numbers of his NBA career since joining the Magic.

“I think he’s an unbelievable guy,” Fultz explained. “He just brings his flare, his touch to try to help us all with our different shooting tactics. He’s just a great guy to be around not only on the court, but off the court. He’s just a really caring, unbelievable guy. He’s been around for a little while, so he’s seen a lot. It’s always fun just to pick his brain and hear his different stories of who he’s been around, who he’s worked with. Sometimes it’s not even about the basketball, it’s about just having that free, open talk and feeling comfortable talking to somebody. Super excited for him to be inducted and get the recognition. It’s well deserved and it’s an honor.”