Oct 1st, 2007 by Inside Hoops
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today the hiring of Kenny Atkinson as the team’s Director of Player Development, as well as the addition of Pat Zipfel as an advance scout.
Atkinson will focus on improving player performance through on-court one-on-one skill development and the use of video analysis.
From 2004-06 before joining the Rockets, Atkinson was an assistant coach/director of player development with Paris Basket Racing in France. In the summer of 2006, he served in the same capacity for the National Team of Georgia. During his stint with the team, he also coordinated the Paris Basket Racing junior program.
Atkinson played professionally throughout the world from 1991-2004. He has played in such countries as France, Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain. Domestically, Atkinson has played for the Long Island Surf of the USBL Pro Summer League and the Wichita Falls of the CBA, and has had tryouts with the New York Knicks, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.
During the summers of 2005 and 2007, Atkinson was a Reebok EuroCamp coach in Treviso, Italy. He also served as an NBA Cares Basketball Clinic Coach in Paris, France. He attended the University of Richmond, where he still ranks third all-time in assists, seventh all-time in scoring, and led his team to the Sweet Sixteen his sophomore year.
Zipfel worked the past three seasons as an advance scout with Portland, joining the Trail Blazers on Sept. 23, 2004. He also spent three seasons as an advance scout for the L.A. Clippers.
Prior to joining the Trail Blazers, Zipfel spent the 2003-04 season as head coach of the ABA’s Jersey Squires, leading the Squires into the ABA Quarterfinals where they were defeated by the Kansas City Knights. He was also head basketball coach and athletic director at Centenary College (NJ), as well as holding coaching positions at Bucks County Community College (PA) and at The Citadel.