By Keisha J Kelley
Black College Experience
USA TODAY Sports
Lionel Hollins, former NBA coach and player, has been selected as the assistant coach for the LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians men’s basketball team, serving under head men’s coach, Bonzi Wells.
Hollins has a wealth of experience with collegiate and professional basketball. Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the sixth pick of the 1975 NBA draft out of Arizona State University. During his ten-year NBA career, Hollins played for five teams, averaging 11.6 points and 4.5 assists per game. He was a member of the Portland Trail Blazers' 1976–77 championship team and was a member of the NBA All-Defensive team twice, in 1978 and 1979. On April 18, 2007, the Portland Trail Blazers retired his #14 jersey.
Coach Hollins served twice as the head coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, making this a reunion of sorts for former coach and player who will now work together to build a successful team at LeMoyne-Owen College. On February 11, 2011, Hollins won his 100th career victory, as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, in an 89–86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Hollins also coached the Brooklyn Nets, served as an assistant coach to the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns. Coach Hollins also served as an assistant coach for Arizona State.
“I am very excited to have Coach Lionel Hollins joining our staff here at LeMoyne-Owen College. Coach Hollins‘ basketball experience and wisdom will play a pivotal part as we build a successful foundation for our men’s basketball program,” said Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Bonzi Wells.
Hollins has one son, Austin, who followed in his father’s footsteps to play basketball.