ESPN reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team has hired Chip Engelland, who many consider the NBA’s preeminent shooting teacher, as an assistant coach.
Engelland, a Los Angeles native, served as a ball boy for coach John Wooden’s NCAA championships UCLA Bruins in 1975.
He then played basketball for Pacific Palisades High School and led Los Angeles in scoring as a senior in 1979.
Engelland went to Duke University and lettered for four seasons, scoring more than 1,000 points for coach Mike Krzyzewski and was named captain his senior year.
He played professionally for nine years on international teams before joining the NBA as an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons in 1999. Subsequently, he coached with the Denver Nuggets before going to the Spurs as a shooting coach in 2005. He has two championship rings with the Spurs (2007 and 2014).
While there, he was credited with the shooting development of young players such as Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray – and even veterans such as Richard Jefferson.
Engelland was part of the coaching team with former PaliHi player and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who under Coach Gregg Popovich, saw Team USA win gold in men’s basketball at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Engelland, 61, will work on Mark Daignault’s coaching staff to develop the shooting habits across the young roster.
The Thunder have 15 first-round picks and 13 second-rounders through the 2029 draft — including all seven of their own firsts.