NBA vet tapped as head basketball coach for California high school

Written by on August 8, 2023

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Five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher will serve as the new head coach of a high school basketball team in California, KTLA 5 reports.

Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino announced that Fisher is bringing “his strong work ethic, leadership, and discipline that are rooted in his Christian faith.”

Minnesota Lynx v Los Angeles Sparks
Head coach Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Sparks speaks at a press conference ahead of the game against the Minnesota Lynx at Arena on May 17, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Fisher, who played for 18 seasons in the league and was president of the National Basketball Players Association, added, “Coaching and teaching is a true passion and I look forward to continuing this focus on the next generation of young student-athletes.”

Most of Fisher’s career was spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won five NBA championships. He also played for the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Dallas Mavericks.

From 2014 to 2016, Fisher coached the New York Knicks and, most recently, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Fisher coached eighth graders at Heritage Christian School this past year, according to Crespi’s release. 

“Crespi Basketball now prepares to boldly enter a new era under Coach Fisher’s leadership with a program poised to continue its tradition of excellence,” Brian Bilek, Crespi director of athletics, said in the statement.

“My family and I are thankful and grateful for this opportunity to join the Crespi Family,” Fisher said.

Bilek said Fisher is “committed to the holistic development of student-athletes.”

“We found a guy who upholds our values, teaching hard work, discipline and accountability,” Bilek said of Fisher, Los Angeles Times reports

Fisher is not the first former Laker to enter high school coaching. Michael Cooper, a five-time champion ex-LA Laker, has also found success in coaching high school and women’s basketball.

For Fisher at Crespi, in the Mission League — one of California’s toughest leagues — some say the path to get the team on the level of his rivals will not be easy.

The Crespi team went 18-12 last season, but only 1-6 in its own league, Yahoo reports.

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