Archive for the ‘ Sacramento Kings Blog ’ Category

Kings add Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

Kings add Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

The Sacramento Kings today have added Jenny Boucek as an Assistant Player Development Coach on Head Coach Dave Joerger’s staff.

With 18 years of professional coaching experience and two WNBA championships under her belt, Boucek returns to Sacramento after most recently serving as the head coach of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm for three seasons (2015-17). Her resume includes two-plus seasons at the helm as the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09, where she led the team to a 40-41 record.

Boucek was involved in the WNBA since its inaugural season, suiting up for the Cleveland Rockers in 1997. Following a career-ending injury in 1998, she began her WNBA coaching career as an assistant with the Washington Mystics in 1999. She then spent three seasons (2000-02) in the same capacity with the Miami Sol. In her first stint with Seattle from 2003-05, Boucek was an assistant coach on staff that included the franchise’s first WNBA Championship in 2004. The Storm won their second WNBA crown in 2010 with Boucek on staff in a similar role. Boucek is distinguished as the first athlete to play in the WNBA and subsequently serve as both an assistant and head coach in the league.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, the Tennessee native was voted Foreign Player of the Year after leading Keflavik to the Icelandic Championship and Icelandic Basketball Cup in 1998. A four-year starter at the University of Virginia from 1992-1996, Boucek helped lead the Cavaliers to four regular season ACC Championships and three NCAA Elite Eight appearances.

The Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has requested waivers on guards David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn.

Stockton appeared in two contests for Sacramento during the preseason, averaging 11.5 points (9-13 FG, 3-4 3pt, 2-4 FT) and 5.0 assists in 16.3 minutes per game, including a game-high 23 points to accompany three rebounds, eight assists and two steals off the bench at Golden State (10/13).

Jones played in five exhibition games, posting 2.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 11.7 minutes per contest.

Hearn appeared in one preseason game.

The Sacramento Kings have signed guards Reggie Hearn and David Stockton.

Hearn has spent the last three seasons with Sacramento’s G-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, where he accrued averages of 13.5 points (.453 FG%, .442 3pt%, .714 FT%) to accompany 5.3 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 campaign. Most recently, the Northwestern product appeared in three contests for the Kings Summer League team before winning a gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup as a member of the U.S. National Team.

Stockton returned last season for his third stint with the Bighorns after a year overseas playing with Cedevita Zagreb (Croatian League) and the New Zealand Breakers (NBL), posting 16.4 points (.422 FG%, .388 3pt%, .787 FT%), 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.52 steals per contest in Reno. He holds the Bighorn’s single-game franchise record in assists, notching 22 against the Texas Legends as a rookie in 2014.

The Kings training camp roster now stands at 20.

Kings waive guard Marcus Williams

The Sacramento Kings have requested waivers on guard Marcus Williams.

Williams appeared in two contests for Sacramento during the preseason, averaging 6.0 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 FT) and 3.0 assists in 15.7 minutes per game, including nine points (4-5 FG, 1-1 3pt) and one assist in 13 minutes off the bench at San Antonio (10/6).

Kings announce basketball staff updates

The Sacramento Kings announced today several Basketball Operations updates and an addition within the team’s scouting department, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

Peja Stojakovic will serve as Vice President of Basketball and Team Development after spending the previous two seasons as VP of Player Personnel and Development. He will continue to assist Divac and the front office in all aspects of team and talent evaluation as well as player development. The former Kings standout and NBA champion is entering his third campaign as an executive with Sacramento after a 13-year playing career.

Joelle Terry enters her third season with the organization and first as Senior Vice President of Communications. In this capacity, Terry leads business and basketball communications strategy and oversees the team’s digital media, production and broadcasting efforts. Prior to joining the Kings, she served as Director of Government Communications at Comcast NBCUniversal and also worked in the White House from 2009 to 2011 as Deputy Director of Message Events. A Sacramento native, Terry graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

Anthony McClish has been named Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the Reno Bighorns, the Kings G-League affiliate after spending the previous four campaigns in various capacities, most recently as a senior operations manager. McClish will assist with talent evaluation and day-to-day operation of the Kings front office in addition to his duties as Bighorns GM. The Lima, Ohio native is a 2012 Ohio State University graduate and former manager of the Buckeyes Women’s Basketball team.

Bill Pope is entering his first season as the Kings Director of Pro Personnel after serving the previous four years as a personnel and advance scout. Prior to joining the organization, he spent nine seasons with the Detroit Pistons serving in similar roles. Pope’s resume includes 15 years in the collegiate ranks, including six as Head Coach at Lincoln University where he garnered Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2001. The 1988 University of Kansas graduate was a manager of the Jawhawks Men’s Basketball team.

Mark Toyoda was named Senior Manager of Basketball Administration after serving the previous two seasons in a similar capacity. In addition to oversight of administrative expenses, Toyoda manages departmental finances and helps coordinate basketball operations logistics. The Chicago, Illinois native is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a law degree from the University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Gene Cross returns to the Kings as a regional scout for his second stint with the organization after spending the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach with the Reno Bighorns. Cross brings more than two decades of coaching experience to his new role, including stops as a head coach for the Erie Bayhawks (2012-14) and most recently, Rayos de Hermosillo (Sonora, Mexico). A Chicago native, he played collegiate basketball at the University of Illinois from 1989 to 1994.

Robbie Lemons begins his second season with the organization and first as Basketball Operations Coordinator, responsible for helping prepare, maintain and distribute all scouting materials. A Sacramento native, the 2015 Stanford graduate earned First-Team PAC-12 All-Academic honors as a member of the Cardinal basketball team (2010-2014). Lemons secured his public policy MA in Palo Alto and MSC in banking and finance from Newcastle University.

Ramsey Nijem, entering his fourth season in Sacramento and nearing completion of his Ph.D. in Human and Sport Performance, has been named Head Performance and Strength Coach. A Bay Area native and UC Santa Barbara alumnus, Nijem oversees aspects of sports performance, including strength and conditioning, sport science and nutrition.

Aung Aye begins his third campaign with the Kings and first as Manual Therapist and Assistant Athletic Trainer following two seasons in a similar capacity. A certified member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) and licensed massage therapist, Aye also spent five years with the Seattle Sounders FC. The Pacific Northwest native earned degrees in humanities from the University of Washington and athletic training at Chapman University.

Ernest DeLosAngeles joins the Kings organization as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Reno Bighorns after spending two years as the Assistant Director of Athletic Training at the University of the Pacific where his responsibilities included medical coverage and rehabilitation and recovery for the soccer and track and field teams. A certified Athletic Trainer, DeLosAngeles also has experience working with the San Francisco 49ers and Stockton Heat (IHL).

Akachi Okugo starts his second season with the organization and first as Player Development Coordinator. In his new role, he will assist Kings player development coaches to define, organize and facilitate individual skills workouts. A Jesuit High School (Carmichael, CA) alumnus, Okugo went on to play collegiate basketball at Grand Canyon University, Yuba College and Cal State San Marcos.

Penny Chatzis joins the Kings as the Executive Assistant to the General Manager and Player Services Administrator responsible for assisting Vlade Divac in basketball administration as well as coordination of the Kings player services efforts. A Sacramento native, Chatzis is a Sacramento State graduate with a master’s degree in education.

Melanie Stocking enters her 13th season with the Kings and first as Manager of Basketball Operations. In her new role, Stocking provides broad administrative support to the coaching staff and front office, while being the department liaison on facilities, contracts, supplies and equipment related issues. A native of Winters, California, Stocking is a Sonoma State University graduate.

The Sacramento Kings have extended the contract of General Manager Vlade Divac and exercised their fourth year option on Head Coach Dave Joerger, keeping both in Sacramento through the 2019-20 season.

“I am so excited to continue to build this team with incredible partners and want to thank Vivek and the entire Sacramento Kings organization for their support,” said Divac “Together, from ownership to the front office to Dave and his team, we’re unified in our vision for the future of this franchise. I look forward to the hard work and fun ahead as we strive to make Sacramento proud.”

“It is a great time to be in Sacramento and I’m thrilled by the opportunity to continue working alongside Vlade and the entire Kings organization,” said Joerger. “Together, we are bonded as a group focused on working hard and developing our team.”

Divac enters his third year as General Manager after taking the helm of Sacramento’s front office during the 2015-16 season. Most recently, he is credited with uniting young assets with proven veterans via free agency, trades and the NBA Draft. Over the course of the offseason, the former All-Star center augmented the Kings roster with first-round selections De’Aaron Fox (fifth overall), Justin Jackson (15th overall) and Harry Giles (20th overall) and National Player of the Year Frank Mason with the 34th overall pick. Additionally, Divac brought in future Hall-of-Famer Vince Carter, two-time All-Star Zach Randolph and veteran point guard George Hill to complement the young roster.

Hired in May of 2016, Joerger kept the Kings competitive with an eye on developing young talent during his first campaign in Sacramento, fostering growth from rookies Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson, Georgios Papagiannis and after a late season trade, 2016 sixth overall pick Buddy Hield. In his last 25 games since joining the Kings in February, Hield scored in double-figures on 22 occasions, averaging 15.1 points (.480 FG%, .428 3pt%, .814 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 29.1 minutes per contest, earning Rookie of the Month honors for games played in March and garnering NBA First Team All-Rookie honors. Similarly, Labissiere demonstrated significant improvement as the season waned, increasing his scoring and rebounding averages by 8.3 points and 4.5 per game, respectively.

Joerger joined the Kings after spending three years as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, where he accrued a 147-99 regular season mark (.598) and guided the franchise to postseason berths in each of his seasons at the helm. Prior to entering the NBA ranks, Joerger won accolades as one of the most successful minor league coaches in history, piloting five teams to championships in three different basketball leagues from 2000-07.

Kings sign guard Marcus Williams

Kings sign guard Marcus Williams

The Sacramento Kings today signed guard Marcus Williams.

We assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Williams to Kings training camp.

Entering his twelfth professional season, the 6-3, 209-pound guard was selected 22nd overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by New Jersey as a junior out of Connecticut. The Husky standout earned NBA Second Team All-Rookie accolades after accruing averages of 6.8 points (.395 FG%, .282 3pt%, .847 FT%), 2.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 16.6 minutes per game in 79 contests (two starts) for the Nets, including an invitation to the Rookie Challenge at the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend. Williams also suited up for the Golden State Warriors (2008-09) and Memphis Grizzlies (2009-10) before embarking on a playing career overseas.

Williams’ career features stops in the Puerto Rican League (BSN), where he garnered All-BSN First-Team honors in 2009 and a successful stint in Russia with Enisey Krasnoyarsk, helping guide his team to the playoffs for the first time in PBL history. His international resume includes experience playing in China (Jiangsu Dragons), Spain (Unicaja Malaga) and Serbia (Crvena Zvezda).

The Big East Conference Most Improved Player in 2004-05, Williams posted 9.6 points and 7.8 assists per contest before leading Connecticut to the Elite 8 as a junior en route to averaging 20.0 points (.520 FG%, .560 3pt%, .960 FT%) to accompany 8.8 assists per game in the NCAA Tournament.

Kings add Galen Duncan to staff

sac kings

The Sacramento Kings have hired Galen Duncan as Vice President of the Kings Academy and Professional Development.

In his role with Sacramento, Duncan is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under Duncan’s oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.

A Ph.D. in health psychology, Duncan joins the Kings organization after spending 10 years as Senior Director of Player Development with the National Football League’s Detroit Lions, where he advised players regarding housing options, financial education tools, counseling connections and off-field career opportunities. Additionally, Duncan assisted Football Operations with character evaluations for all draft eligible players and oversaw rookie transition and social media etiquette training programs while also serving as the Lions liaison between the League Office and NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and member of the Player Development Steering Committee. Duncan also spent six seasons as a treating clinician for the NFL’s Program for Abuse of Substances, providing one-on-one and group therapy for football players involved in the mandatory treatment program.

Duncan’s professional experience features consultancies with the NBA Rookie Transition Program and NBA Players Association, for which he presented psychologically instructive presentations and facilitated individual and group counseling sessions tailored to first and second year players. He remains an active therapist in both the Wayne State University and University of Detroit Mercy Athletic Departments, counseling collegiate teams and athletes across numerous sporting disciplines.

A retired United States Army Reserves officer, the Detroit native and Lake Superior State alumnus (’94) played collegiate basketball before securing his Master’s Degree in social work from Wayne State University (’97) and Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University in 2006.

Kings season to begin vs Rockets

The Sacramento Kings will host MVP finalist James Harden, nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets in their season opener from Golden 1 Center on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

For most Kings games this season, tip-off will return to the traditional 7 p.m. start time. Basketball fans have an opportunity to access pre-paid parking spots, ride public transportation and download the dual-mode Kings + Golden 1 Center app to enhance the game-day experience with on-demand information regarding parking and more.

The Kings will be featured on national television 12 times during the 2017-18 campaign, highlighted by a TNT Sports broadcast from Golden 1 Center as Sacramento plays host to DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, Oct. 26. Lonzo Ball and the L.A. Lakers visit on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for the first of three ESPN telecasts originating from Sacramento. The other pair of ESPN matchups from Golden 1 Center include two-time MVP Stephen Curry and four-time scoring leader Kevin Durant as the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors make the short trip down I-80 on Friday, Feb. 2, and a Pacific Division clash with the Portland Trail Blazers a week later on Friday, Feb. 9. Sacramento plays to a national audience on eight occasions delivered by NBA TV, showcasing home contests versus reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Nov. 7), Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves (Feb. 26) and an April Fools road installment with Ball and longtime rival Lakers (April 1).

Sacramento will play 20 of its first 33 contests on the road before returning to Golden 1 Center following the holidays. Marquee contests during this opening stanza include matchups against the Washington Wizards led by John Wall and Bradley Beal (Oct. 29), All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics (Nov. 1), Philadelphia 76ers starring No. 1 draft selections Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons alongside current Rookie of the Year Joel Embiid (Nov. 9), at Golden State Warriors (Nov. 27), a visit to face 4-time NBA MVP and 13-time All-Star LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (Dec. 6), a rematch with Cousins and Davis in the Big Easy (Dec. 8) and perennial title-contending San Antonio Spurs led by 2016 MVP finalist Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and veteran addition Rudy Gay (Dec. 23).

Kings hire Brandon D. Williams as Assistant General Manager

The Sacramento Kings today hired Brandon D. Williams as Assistant General Manager, according to General Manager Vlade Divac. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In his new role with Sacramento, Williams will support all facets of the day-to-day operation of the Kings front office, including roster composition, player evaluation and development, contractual negotiations, free agency procurement, collegiate, G-League and NBA scouting processes and player personnel matters.

“We are so excited that Brandon is joining our front office team,” said Divac. “He is an experienced and talented basketball executive. His knowledge of player development and basketball operations combined with his legal skills will be a strong addition to our team.”

Williams joins the Kings organization after spending the previous four seasons as an executive with Philadelphia, most recently serving as Vice President of Basketball Administration and General Manager of the NBA G-League’s Delaware 87ers. In addition to aiding the 76ers front office in matters regarding prospect evaluation, player development, staffing recruitment and contract negotiations, the former Davidson Wildcat standout helped facilitate several NBA call-ups and coaching promotions as the 87ers General Manager.

Before working in basketball operations from a team perspective, Williams spent nine seasons in the league office as Director of NBA Player Development (2005-07) and Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations (2007-13), overseeing standards relating to on-court operations, quality of game play, monitoring conduct and discipline and officiating performance via the Standard Observers Program. During early development of the contemporary NBA minor league system thriving today, Williams was regularly consulted on various issues to improve synergy in the league’s affiliation and assignment systems. In 2012, the Louisiana native obtained a law degree from Rutgers University.

A veteran of nine professional seasons in the NBA, CBA, D-League and abroad, Williams’ playing career was punctuated by championships with the San Antonio Spurs (1998-99) and Sioux Falls Skyforce (2004-05)—where he played for current Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger. His playing resume includes appearances with the Golden State Warriors (1997-98), San Antonio Spurs, Huntsville Flight (G-League), Atlanta Hawks (2002-03), Sioux Falls and significant experience oversees in France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Israel.

Kings sign JaKarr Sampson and Jack Cooley

The Kings have signed forward JaKarr Sampson and forward Jack Cooley to two-way contracts.

Sampson, a 6-9, 207-pound forward and 2017 NBA G-League Western Conference All-Star joins the Kings as a two-way player after spending last season with the Iowa Energy, where he accrued averages of 15.1 points (.489 FG%, .287 3pt%, .688 FT%), 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 25.7 minutes in 47 games (22 starts).

Sampson recently appeared with the Kings NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas, posting 7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in four contests, including nine points, seven rebounds, and one assist in 23 minutes versus Milwaukee (7/12/17).

Undrafted after two noteworthy seasons at St. John’s, Sampson earned 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year honors after logging 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocks in 33 contests. The Ohio native signed with Philadelphia after his sophomore season, playing for both the 76ers and their G-League affiliate, Delaware 76ers until 2016. Sampson posted 5.2 points (.422 FG%, .670 FT%), 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists as an NBA rookie in 2014-15, appearing in 74 games (started 32). He accrued similar averages with the Denver Nuggets during his most recent NBA stint in 2015-16 prior to an All-Star caliber campaign in the G-League last season.

Cooley joins the Kings after a productive tournament during the 2017 NBA Las Vegas Summer League in Las Vegas, where the 6-10, 274-pound forward registered 9.2 points (.640 FG%, 1-1 3pt, .619 FT%), 6.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 17 minutes in five games. He posted two double-doubles, highlighted by 11 points (4-5 FG, 3-5 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and a block against Phoenix (7/7/17) and 13 points (4-8 FG, 1-4 3pt, 4-8 FT), a game-high 11 rebounds, two steals and one block versus the Suns (7/14/17). The 2017 Summer League marked Cooley’s fourth consecutive year competing in the event.

A former Notre Dame standout, Cooley spent last season with German club MHP Risen Ludwigsburg, accruing averages of 13.0 points (.569 FG%, 1-1 3pt, .697 FT%) and 6.8 rebounds per game in 37 contests, pacing the team in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.

Undrafted in 2013 after four years in South Bend, Cooley averaged 13.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest his senior season, earning First-Team All Big East accolades en route to helping the Fighting Irish reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in his collegiate career. He went on to play in both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues before signing with Trabzonspor of the Turkish League for the 2013-14 campaign.

Kings sign Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Sacramento Kings have signed guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, General Manager Vlade Divac announced today.

Originally chosen 27th overall by Phoenix in the 2014 NBA Draft, the 6-6 shooting guard was acquired alongside the 13th and 28th picks (Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere) and a future second-round choice by Sacramento in exchange for the eighth selection in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Bogdanovic joins the Kings after playing the last three seasons in Turkey, where he led Fenerbahce to both the Euro and Turkish League Championships in 2016-17. In 27 games, the 24-year-old amassed averages of 14.6 points (.500 FG%, .430 3pt%, .855 FT%), 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.12 steals in 27.9 minutes per contest, earning All-Euro League First-Team and Turkish Finals MVP honors.

In addition to professional experience with Fenerbahce, Bogdanovic spent parts of four seasons with Partizan Belgrade, averaging 14.8 points (.401 FG%, .370 3pt%, .754 FT%), 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.67 steals per game in route to 2013-14 Euro League Rising Star accolades. Then only 21 years of age, he guided Partizan past rival Red Star Belgrade in the league’s championship series in route to posting 30.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest during the best-of-five series.

A member of the silver-medal winning Serbian national team in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bogdanovic averaged 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in eight contests, including a game-high 18 points (7-11 FG, 3-4 3pt, 1-1 FT) to accompany one rebound, five assists and three steals in a quarterfinal victory over Croatia. He helped guide Serbia into the Games with averages of 17.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists during the 2016 FIBA Qualifying Tournament, punctuated by 26 points (9-14 FG, 6-10 3pt, 2-2 FT), two rebounds and eight assists in the championship game victory against Puerto Rico.

Kings sign rookie Frank Mason III

kings

The Sacramento Kings announced Wednesday that the team has signed 2017 second-round draft selection Frank Mason III to a contract, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

Mason, a 6-0 guard, averaged 20.9 points (.490 FG%, .471 3pt%, .794 FT%), 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals during the Jayhawks’ 31-5 record and Elite Eight campaign—becoming the first player in both Big 12 and Kansas history to average 20.0 points and 5.0 assists for a season. For his efforts, the four-year collegian swept the National Player of the Year awards as a senior, earning honors from the AP, Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA), NABC, Sporting News, CBS Sports, USA Today, NBC Sports and BleacherReport, becoming the first consensus National Player of the Year in Kansas history and just the second Jayhawks player to win the Wooden Award (Danny Manning, 1988). Additionally, Mason was bestowed the Bob Cousy Point Guard and Big 12 Player of the Year Awards. He concluded his career ranked sixth in KU history in scoring (1,885) and assists (576)—the only player to rank as high in both categories.

The first Kansas player to lead the Big 12 in scoring since 2004-05, Mason finished the season ranked 22nd in the nation in scoring while finishing first in the league in three-point percentage and fourth in assists. He posted 23 games of 20 or more points, including 10 of KU’s last 11 outings.

The Sacramento Kings have signed 2017 first round draft selections De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles to contracts, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

Tabbed with the fifth overall pick, Fox was just one of four freshman in the nation to average at least 16.7 points (.479 FG%, .246 3pt%, .736 FT%), 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. A Bob Cousy Award finalist, he paced the SEC in assist average and earned Third Team All-American honors by CBS Sports, USA Today and ESPN, as well as AP Honorable Mention accolades. The 6-3, 170-pound guard posted 22.0 points (.618 FG%, 3-5 3pt, .700 FT%), 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists en route to MVP honors during the Wildcats 2017 SEC Championship run, including a Kentucky freshman tournament-record 28 points versus Alabama in the semifinals. He later encored the performance in the Sweet 16 with 39 points (13-20 FG) against UCLA, the most ever by a freshman in a tournament game.

A junior out of North Carolina, Jackson was taken 15th overall after averaging 18.3 points, a career-high 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a consensus First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year while helping lead UNC to the 2017 NCAA Championship. His 239 points scored in the tournament were the second-most in school history. In North Carolina’s six NCAA Tournament wins, Jackson paced the Tar Heels in scoring (19.5 ppg), field goals (41), three-pointers (15), assists (22) and steals (9). He also set a new single-season UNC mark with 105 three pointers made. He joins Rick Fox as the only Heels with 1,600 career points, 150 three-pointers, 400 rebounds and 300 assists.

An early entry candidate selected 20th overall, Giles accrued averages of 3.9 points (.577 FG%, 12-24 FT), 3.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 11.5 minutes, ranking fourth among ACC players with at least 150 minutes on the season in rebounds per 40 minutes (13.3). The 6-10 forward recorded a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double effort against Georgia Tech and a season-high 12 points versus Boston College before playing an integral role in the ACC Tournament semifinals, posting six points, seven rebounds and four blocks in just 15 minutes in a win over eventual national champion North Carolina. As a prep talent out of Oak Hill and Wesleyan Christian Academies, Giles was honored as a First Team All-USA selection by USA Today, a Third Team Naismith Trophy All-American and Fourth Team Max Preps All American as a junior in 2015 after averaging 23.9 points and 12.5 rebounds to lead Wesleyan Christian to a NCISAA 3A runner-up finish.

Kings add Phil Ricci to coaching staff

Kings add Phil Ricci to coaching staff

The Sacramento Kings today have added Phil Ricci as an assistant player development coach on Head Coach Dave Joerger’s staff.

Ricci brings nearly twenty years of collegiate and professional basketball experience to Sacramento, including a playing career that spanned a half dozen countries and the NBA Development League.

The northern California native and former Galt Warrior standout spent a decade playing abroad in Spain, Japan, Korea, France, Israel and the Czech Republic, where he guided Nymburk to an appearance in the 2010 European Cup for the first time in club history.

Prior to embarking overseas, the 6-7 forward parlayed a successful stint at Delta Community College (Stockton, CA) to a scholarship at Oregon State, where he averaged 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in route to All-Pac 10 First Team honors as a senior (2002). A year later, he registered 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest with Huntsville of the Development League after spending the summer as a member of the Kings training camp roster.

The Kings came to agreements with some talent yesterday. George Hill is a starter-worthy guard. Power forward Zach Randolph is in his golden years but can make a bench better. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Kings adding George Hill, Zach Randolph

The Kings knew their team was too young. Though committed to a youth movement, they were reluctant to rely mostly on inexperienced players, hoping they quickly learn from the mistakes they’ll make.

And the Kings have made it clear they want to change their losing culture, too.

The Kings made two deals Tuesday that show they won’t be content simply letting their inexperienced players stumble through the season, reaching agreements with point guard George Hill and power forward Zach Randolph, league sources confirmed.

Hill agreed to a three-year deal worth $57 million, with a partial guarantee for the third year. Randolph agreed to a two-year deal worth $24 million.

Kings make big offer to Otto Porter

Wizards restricted free agent small forward Otto Porter Jr is about to get paid. The question is, by who. Right now it’s all about the Kings and their offer. Here’s the NY Post reporting:

Kings make big offer to Otto Porter

The Wizards didn’t offer Otto Porter Jr. a maximum contract, but the Kings did.

Now the question is: Will the Nets offer the restricted free agent one as well if they meet? And will the Wizards really match it?

The Kings’ offer to Porter — first reported by ESPN — is for four years and $106.5 million, the same amount the Nets could offer. Porter will continue taking meetings, even though sources told The Post the Wizards will match any offer for the small forward…

Despite Washington’s ability to match, trying to out-recruit the Kings is still a worthwhile pursuit. Porter, 24, is young enough to be part of a lengthy rebuild and is the top restricted free agent on the market. Porter was second in the NBA in Offensive Rating (129.1) and fourth in 3-point shooting (.434).

Buddy Hield named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the league announced today.

Selected out of Oklahoma with the sixth overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, Hield joined Sacramento in mid-February and finished the season scoring double-figures in 22 of the Kings 25 contests. The former Sooner standout accrued averages of 15.1 points (.480 FG%, .428 3pt%, .814 FT%), 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 29.1 minutes per game as a King, earning Rookie of the Month honors for games played in March. Overall, the 6-4 shooting guard registered 10.6 points (.426 FG%, .391 3pt%, .842 FT%), 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 23.0 minutes in playing all 82 contests during his rookie campaign, ranking third in scoring, fourth in 3-point and free throw percentage, eighth in field goal percentage and 11th in rebounding among all rookies.

Hield becomes the 16th player in Kings franchise history and the 11th during the Sacramento era to earn All-Rookie Team distinction, a list that includes teammate Willie Cauley-Stein (2015-16 All-Rookie Second Team).

Kings waive Arron Afflalo

Kings waive Arron Afflalo

The Sacramento Kings today waived forward/guard Arron Afflalo, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

In 61 games played (45 starts) with the Kings during the 2016-17 season, Afflalo averaged 8.4 points (.440 FG%, .411 3pt%, .892 FT%), 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 25.9 minutes per game. The 10-year NBA veteran has accrued career averages of 11.3 points (.451 FG%, .386 3pt%, .825 FT%), 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 28.4 minutes per contest in 709 NBA games with Detroit (2007-09), Denver (2009-12 & 2014-15), Orlando (2012-14), and New York (2015-16).

Sacramento Kings rookie Skal Labissière announced today that his first Camp S.K.A.L. basketball clinic will tip off this summer in his native Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Representing skills, knowledge and life, Labissière’s Camp S.K.A.L. will host 50 of the top high school basketball players and coaches in Port-au-Prince July 19-21.

“This will be my first time back home in seven years,” Labissière said. “I’m blessed to be in a place now where I can give back to my Port-au-Prince community and this is just the start of more free Camp S.K.A.L. events there in the future. I look forward to sharing some of the basketball and life knowledge I’ve gained over the years.”

Labissière partnered with Reach Your Dream, a non-profit organization promoting spiritual awareness, self confidence, and innovative thinking for future generations in communities throughout the world. Reach Your Dream helped Labissière relocate to the United States before high school to pursue his educational and basketball goals.

“Without the good people of Reach Your Dream, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” added Labissière. “It’s only fitting, that we work together on Camp S.K.A.L. to provide similar opportunities to the future basketball stars of Haiti.”

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