by Matt McQuade
Sydney Kings Head Coach Andrew Gaze has received a tremendous opportunity with an invitation to join the NBA’s Indiana Pacers as part of their coaching staff at the NBA Summer League to be held in Orlando next month.
It’s a measure of both Andrew’s standing and the growing respect with which the National Basketball League is held that he has been given a chance to contribute at the highest level of the sport.
The invitation came about thanks to a relationship established by the Kings with the Pacers’ Director of Scouting, Ryan Carr, who was a guest of the club last season.
Importantly, Andrew’s opportunity to become a part of the Pacers’ coaching staff was also due to Indiana President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard, who has been open in his desire to gain as much knowledge and input from various basketball sources throughout the world.
Andrew will serve as a guest assistant coach to former NBA star Popeye Jones, who will take the reins as coach of the Pacers’ summer league team, overseen by regular head coach Nate McMillan.
Coach Gaze will fly out shortly to Indianapolis, where he will spend a week embedded in the Pacers’ organisation, receiving valuable insight into the entire operation of an NBA franchise, including their state of the art training facilities.
He’ll then head to Orlando with the Pacers as they participate in the eight team competition from July 1 to July 6, going head to head with the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Orlando event could feature as many as six NBA lottery draft picks and is a showcase for outstanding talent looking to make their way in professional basketball.
Andrew is excited for the chance to work in an NBA program.
“First and foremost it’s a privileged opportunity and one I’m extremely grateful for,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to grow and learn. I’m looking forward to seeing how they run their systems, what systems they run, their player management and the environment in which they train.”
“In addition to that, I’ll get an opportunity to scout a number of players for the Kings.”
“Ultimately it’s about broadening the network, having an opportunity to tap into a host of different resources and hopefully use that to get a talented player to the Sydney Kings.”
Sydney Kings Managing Director Jeff Van Groningen hailed today’s news as another important step for the club.
“We’re really humbled that the Indiana Pacers organisation has invited Andrew to be a coach at the Orlando Summer League,” Mr Van Groningen said.
“It’s obviously great recognition for him, but also a great thing in terms of our organisation to organisation relationship with an NBA team.”
“Any time we can get that type of close exposure and we can learn from those franchises, we will always jump at that chance.”
The Sydney Kings will be well-represented on the NBA Summer League circuit this year, with Jeff Van Groningen in attendance at the famed Thomas and Mack Centre in the Las Vegas stop of the Summer League in mid-July as the team works diligently in its search for a quality import big man.