Legends Announce Coaching StaffNovember 13, 2012 - NBA Development League (D-League) Texas Legends
Joining the Legends as an assistant coach is Ahmad Ajami. Ahmad comes to the Legends from the Orlando Magic where he served as an assistant under Coach Stan Van Gundy. Ajami spent five years with the Magic as a video coordinator and assistant coach before coming to Dallas.
"Ahmad is a perfect addition to this staff," commented Legends Head Coach Eduardo Najera. "His background with the Orlando Magic gives him instant credibility. He will be an important piece of our team's success throughout this coming season."
In addition to Ajami the Legends drew three members of last year's staff-Travis Blakeley and Sam Perkins from player development, and Tyler Gatlin from the scouting staff-to assistant coaching positions, as well as newcomer Jeremy Bender.
Travis Blakeley begins his third season with the Legends and second full season as an assistant coach. Blakeley moved to Assistant Coach last season after assisting with a record-breaking acquisition as the Director of Player Personnel during the 2010-11 season.
"Travis has definitely earned his spot" said Najera. "He's very well respected among every member of the organization and the players respond well to him. He brings energy and enthusiasm and I look forward to working with him".
Perkins, a 17-year NBA veteran, returns to the staff as well. Perkins was a member of the 1982 NCAA championship Tarheels and co-captain of the 1984 gold-medal winning US Olympic team. Perkins played for the Mavericks for six seasons during his NBA career and was the first player in Mavericks' history to record a 30-20 game. His successful career makes him a great resource for the players and staff.
"There is a unique value in Sam's experience and knowledge of the game. He is a great mentor for our players and will particularly help in the development of our post players," Najera commented.
Tyler Gatlin moves up to Assistant Coach after spending the 2011-12 season as a Scout.
"Tyler's organizational skills, and knowledge of the players in our league will be a tremendous asset," Najera commented. "We're starting off with a major advantage."
Capping off the coaching staff is Jeremy Bender who will focus on player development. Bender spent the 2011-12 season as an intern with the Charlotte Bobcats.
"Jeremy has a tremendous passion for basketball," Najera added. "While I was a player in Charlotte, he was always available for players who wanted to get extra work in. This is a key component of our league, and Jeremy will be an asset for the players."
The Legends cap off the operations staff with two new scouts, Rafael Barlowe and Matt Morales. Barlowe worked with the Legends last season in Basketball Operations.
The Legends home opener will be against the Austin Toros on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:00pm.
Legends Basketball Operations Staff
President of Basketball Operations: Spud Webb
General Manager: Del Harris
Assistant General Manager: Nancy Lieberman
Executive Advisor: Marques Haynes
Sr. VP/Director of Basketball Operations: Malcolm Farmer
Head Coach: Eddie Najera
Assistant Coach: Ahmad Ajami
Assistant Coach: Travis Blakeley
Assistant Coach: Sam Perkins
Assistant Coach: Tyler Gatlin
Assistant Coach/Player Development: Jeremy Bender
Scout: Rafael Barlowe
Scout: Matt Morales
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