School hires former NBA player to coach basketball team
By Jonathan Wall
When Chistian Life Center (Texas) Academy players show up for basketball practice next season, they'll most likely do a double-take when they get a glimpse of their new coach. Unlike most teams in the Houston area, Christian Life Center -- the same school that produced Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan -- will have former NBA player, and streetball legend, Rafer Alston prowling the sidelines and giving advice.
As FOX 26 News in Houston reported, Alston, who played 11 years in the NBA, including four with the Houston Rockets, will be the school's head basketball coach. But he'll be doing more than just coaching next season.
"We've hired Rafer to be our head basketball coach and athletics director," Pastor Richard Rodriguez, top administrator at Christian Life Center Academy, told FOX 26 News.
"We are going to present him to our students at our graduation ceremony on the 27th."
It's a huge jump for Alston, who will go from playing in front of crowds on the And1 Mixtape Tour, to playing professionally in the NBA, to now being in charge of not only a basketball team, but the rest of Christian Life Center Academy's other sports.
Hiring Alston for his basketball experience makes sense, but bringing him in to take on the role of athletics director seems a little puzzling. With zero experience as a high school administrator, it'll be interesting to see what kind of role he plays in the day-to-day duties for the rest of the school's sports teams.
"I'm excited and it's going to be a lot of fun," Alston told FOX 26 News in Houston. "It's a chance to work with a lot of kids who have seen me play and they can benefit from my experience at many different levels of basketball.
"This school is one of the best in the nation and it's going to be a challenge and I'm looking forward to it."
While Alston is a big-name hire for the school, Christian Life Center is actually the second school, this season, to hire a high-profile former professional basketball player to coach. Saybrook (Conn.) high school recently gave former NBA'er Vin Baker the chance to coach the ninth grade basketball team, and based on the video, it would appear he's taking things pretty seriously.
With the potential of an NBA lockout next year, don't be surprised if you see a couple current professional players try their hand at coaching in the near future.