Top 12 of 2016: #3 – Otis Smith to return as coach of GR Drive

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., OCT. 28, 2015 – The Grand Rapids Drive, the official NBA Development League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, have announced today that Otis Smith is returning to the bench as Head Coach for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Otis and his family back to Grand Rapids for our second season. The Smith’s are becoming an integral part of our Grand Rapids family, which helps business, basketball, and most importantly, our presence in the community”, stated Drive Owner, Steve Jbara, “We’ve put together an enthusiastic mix of returning and first time coaches and staff, all dedicated to development of talent on and off the court.“

“There’s no better place to coach in the D-League than Grand Rapids,” said Head Coach Otis Smith. “It is a basketball-rich community that really embraced our team this past season and I am looking forward to continuing what we started last year.” He continued, “I’m proud of the strides we made as a team in our first season, and am looking to build upon that. Nine of our players played in the NBA summer league, and four appeared on NBA training camp rosters this year. We are excited about continuing to develop our players.”

Smith, alongside Ronnie Murphy, were known as the Jacksonville Dolphin’s “Bad Company” during the 1983-84 season.

Returning to the Drive Basketball Operations staff is Assistant Coach Dion Glover, Newly Appointed Assistant Coach Tommy Abdenour and Director of Basketball Operations Jon Phelps.

New comers to the Basketball Operations staff consist of Assistant Coach Ryan Krueger, Player Development Coach Aaron Gray, Strength and Conditioning Coach Roberto McBride, Athletic Trainer Dave Germaine and Video Coordinator Denny Glunt.

Ryan Krueger comes to Grand Rapids after spending 5 seasons as an assistant coach at Lehigh University, where he was a part of two Patriot League championships (2010, 2012) as well as a first round NCAA upset of Duke in 2012. While at Lehigh, Krueger helped CJ McCollum develop into an NBA lottery pick with the Portland Trailblazers in the 2013 draft. From 2003-2007, Krueger was a member of the New Jersey Nets coaching staff, finishing his stint as an assistant coach after starting as video coordinator. Krueger has also been on staff at Oklahoma, VCU and Rutgers.

Aaron Gray comes to the Drive as a retired NBA player who spent nine seasons in the league. The University of Pittsburgh player joined 2007 NBA Draft where the Chicago Bulls selected him with the 49th overall pick. Through his nine season stint, he played for the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings before joining the Detroit Pistons in 2014. Due to health concerns, Gray retired and is assisting the Drive this season as a player development coach.

Roberto McBride joins Coach Smith’s staff as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach. Prior to joining the Drive, McBride spent a season with his alma mater at the University of Alabama as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with the wide receivers and defensive backs for the football team. He also trains a number of NFL football players during the off-season.

Dave Germaine starts his first season with the Grand Rapids Drive as Head Athletic Trainer. David earned his bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University where he spent time working with the men’s and women’s basketball teams. After graduating in 2013, he decided to pursue his master’s degree from Western Michigan University. As a graduate assistant, David worked at the WMU Sports Medicine Clinic providing physical therapy and physician extender services to WMU faculty, staff, and students. Also, David provided medical coverage for Kalamazoo area high school varsity football, wrestling, and hockey, and many athletic events at Calvin College.

Denny Glunt is the Grand Rapids Drive’s newest Video Coordinator. Prior to coming to Grand Rapids, Glunt spent the 2014-15 season with Jacksonville University as a Graduate Manager. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Basketball Operations at Marist College where he was in charge of team travel, creating post-game analytical breakdowns for the coaching staff, and running the Marist Basketball Summer Camps. A graduate of Penn State University, Glunt was a student manager for four years for the men’s basketball team.

“We are very excited by the additions of Ryan, Roberto, Dave, Denny, and Aaron to our staff. Ryan brings coaching experience at both the NBA and college levels, and should be able to draw upon those experiences to help develop our players and put them in positions to succeed. Roberto’s passion is unmatched and his dedication to the athletes and getting them stronger is his sole focus. Dave is an ambitious young man who will contribute greatly as both an athletic trainer and as someone who can help with his physical therapy background. Denny will aid our coaching staff with his experience as a video coordinator in helping prepare scouting reports and game plans. Aaron knows what it takes to be an effective post player at the NBA level and will be an asset in Grand Rapids. I’m looking forward to their contributions this year,” stated Coach Smith earlier today.

Returning to the Drive Basketball Operations staff is Assistant Coach Dion Glover, Newly Appointed Assistant Coach Tommy Abdenour and Director of Basketball Operations Jon Phelps.

The Grand Rapids Drive return to their home court at the DeltaPlex Arena where they will tip-off their second season on November 14th vs. Delaware 87ers at 7:00 pm. #ProtectThePlex.

The NBA Development League Draft takes place on Sat. Oct. 31st, 2015 at 2 PM. For LIVE coverage, tune in to nbadleague.com.