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Portland Native to Coach Celtics

Ime Udoka hired to lead historic franchise

Ime Udoka reacts during an NBA basketball game back in 2015 while serving as the assistant coach for the San Anonio Spurs. A Portland native from Jefferson High School, Udoka was hired Monday as coach of the Boston Celtics. (AP file photo)

Former Portland native and Portland State University basketball star Ime Udoka has become the first Viking ever to be named Head Coach in the NBA as he has been hired by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics made the official announcement on Monday. Udoka was an All-Big Sky Conference performer and Big Sky Newcomer of the Year for the Vikings in 1999-2000. The 6-6 forward averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals that season. Udoka, an alum of Portland's Jefferson High School, ended up playing seven seasons in the NBA. He started 75 games for the Portland Trailblazers in 2006-07, averaging 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Udoka also spent time playing for the Lakers, Kings, Knicks and Spurs. The 43-year old was an assistant coach for seven seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers for one year, and this past season with the Brooklyn Nets. He won an NBA Championship as an assistant with the Spurs in 2013-14. Udoka was also an assistant for the 2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team. "It's an honor to be a part of the historic Celtics franchise," said Udoka in a press release from the Celtics. "Coaching this talented roster and working alongside (general manager) Brad (Stevens) makes it an ideal situation. I'd like to thank (co-owners) Wyc (Grousbeck), Steve (Pagliuca), and Brad for entrusting me with this opportunity. I look forward to getting started right away."

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