Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rafer Alston and Kenny Anderson are two of the most well known and talented point guards ever to come out of New York City.
Now the two former NBA players are looking to transition into coaching.
Alston, 34, was just hired as the new head coach at Humble (Texas) Christian Life Center, replacing former coach Carlos Wilson, who’s headed to coach at Tyler Junior College.
“I’ve had a good career, long career, 11 years,” Alston said of a career that included stops in six NBA cities and a stint in China. “I had fun. I can’t complain about my NBA career. It’s been wonderful.”
Alston, the former Cardozo High star known as “Skip to My Lou,” said he wasn’t ruling out a possible return to playing professionally overseas or in the NBA, but he realizes that is unlikely.
“I’ve had offers,” he said. “Overseas is always an option. This summer some offers are going to come along at some point. People can always use a point guard.”
Still, he added, “Getting one more year older and doing this job, the chances are slim to none.”
Christian Life Center has produced some noteworthy players in recent years. Kansas commit Ben McLemore landed there this spring after being dismissed from Oak Hill Academy for a violation of team rules.
And onetime Memphis commit Latavious Williams played there before choosing the NBA-D League over a more lucrative offer in China.
Alston, who played for the nearby Houston Rockets for four years, is just looking to give back to the current players.
“We have about four or five guys that played [last year],” he said. “Some kids that didn’t play that much. There are a good amount of people coming back and then we have to add on. But it should be no problem getting the kids to play together and work together.”
Senior Pastor Richard Rodriguez of Christian Life Center said Alston was chosen over several other former NBA and college players for the job.
“We had a number of NBA and college players from all around the world,” he said by phone. “One thing that Rafer offers is he’s a one of a kind. He made it from streetball all the way through college to the NBA and Europe. “He’s been at every level. He’s been to where our guys aspire to make it.
“He’s raised a family here in Houston and he wants to help these kids out and I think he’ll do a good job. He’ll bring experience and his example will be good for these kids to follow.”
Anderson, 40, is a former Archbishop Molloy star who last played in the NBA in 2005 before doing a brief stint in Lithuania.
A former Georgia Tech star who was the No. 2 pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, Anderson has been in touch with new Miami coach Jim Larranaga and new N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried about possible positions on their staffs.
Anderson and Alston are friendly and Anderson said he would also consider going the high school route like Alston.
“I was looking into that, too, one of these prep schools,” Anderson said. “I would even love to do that, if it was top credit high school.”
Until then, Anderson must wait for the right opportunity to begin the next phase of his life.
(Photo courtesy Daily News)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.