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RGV Vipers Add Blair and Toppert to Coaching Staff

October 14, 2015 - NBA G League (G League) - Rio Grande Valley Vipers News Release

The Houston Rockets and NBA Development League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers today announced the addition of Joseph Blair and Cody Toppert to the Vipers coaching staff. Blair and Toppert join Matt Brase, who was named the Vipers sixth head coach in franchise history on Aug. 18, 2015.

Blair joins the RGV Vipers after spending the past two seasons at the University of Arizona, where he served as an undergraduate assistant (2013-14) and a graduate assistant (2014-15). Blair was drafted 35th overall by the Seattle Supersonics in the 1996 NBA Draft and played professionally from 1996-2009, primarily throughout Europe. He garnered All-Euroleague Second Team honors in 2002 while playing for Scavolini Pesaro. In 2003, he earned the Euroleague Regular-Season MVP title while playing with Ülkerspor in Turkey. Blair also had two stints with the Harlem Globetrotters during the 1997-98 season and again in 2001.

Blair averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during four seasons (1992-96) at Arizona. During his collegiate career, Arizona earned the 1992-93 and 1993-94 regular-season championships, and made it to the NCAA Final Four in 1994. Blair remains the Wildcats' all-time leader in field goal percentage (470-of-767, .613) and ranks eighth in program history in career blocks (101).

Toppert joins the RGV Vipers following two years as the Director of Basketball Development and coach for ELEV|8 Sports Institute in Delray Beach, Fla., where during the offseason he also trained players preparing for the NBA Pre Draft and international play. Additionally, Toppert has coached at numerous camps and clinics across the country, including the NBA Pre Draft Combine in 2013 and 2014.

Toppert began his professional career with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, where he was a member of the team's 2005-06 NBA D-League Championship team. He then played professionally in New Zealand and across Europe until 2012.

Toppert played four seasons (2001-05) at Cornell, where he finished eighth overall in school history with 1,232 points, first in three-point field goals made (237) and first in career games played (108).

The RGV Vipers will tipoff the 2015-16 season at State Farm Arena with back-to-back games Nov. 13 and 14 versus the Idaho Stampede. Season tickets for the Vipers 2015-16 season are on sale now. For more information, contact the RGV Vipers at 956-972-1144 or visit the Vipers Pro Shop in Uptown Plaza.

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