As coach of the Colorado Hornets, Chris Romero has positively impacted the lives of his players both on and off the court. It is fitting that he has been named as the Nuggets Academy Junior NBA Coach of Year.
Romero is a Denver native, a major Nuggets fan (always a plus), and his local upbringing in the city has helped him in finding ways to connect with the players he coaches and their families.
“Through our nomination process, we flagged multiple nominations for Chris Romero for the Nuggets Academy Coach of the year,” Nuggets Academy Youth Sports Coordinator Madison Montgomery explained. “After further discussions with his reference and talking to Chris himself, it is clear that he has a deep passion for basketball and youth development on and off the floor. He grew up in Denver, has been a long-time Denver sports fan and his fandom for the game has translated onto the court by positively impacting the lives of his athletes, especially in the last year.”
Staying connected during a pandemic wasn’t easy for Romero, but he found ways to circumvent those challenges. He created group chats with all of the players and their parents on the team. He would schedule outdoor, socially distanced activities and practices for his players. He wanted to make sure that staying active was still a significant part of their life.
“I love the game and I love having the opportunity to share my knowledge of the game with the youth,” Romero said.
Romero has four principles that he tries to instill as a coach. No.1: Have fun playing the game you love. No. 2: Give thanks to the parents and loved ones who sacrifice a lot to allow them to play the game of basketball. No. 3: Respect the game. Always respect your teammates, coaches, parents, and opponents. No. 4: Win or lose, always provide 100 percent effort.
“In all aspects of life, whether it is the highs or the lows, your effort is what truly matters,” Romero said.
Romero was honored at Game 2 of the Nuggets’ first round playoff matchup against the Blazers at Ball Arena, receiving recognition in front of thousands and an award to celebrate his achievement.
"Chris uses his platform to remind his team that we are all humans and everyone deserves to be treated with equality and respect no matter what our background may be. He encourages his kids to stay together and fight through the hardships we might face," one of the parents who nominated Romero said.