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With three days left before the official day of practice, Bishop Loughlin named Rudy King, an assistant and junior varsity coach with the Lions for five years, as interim boys’ basketball coach, Loughlin Athletic Director Angela Proce confirmed with FiveBoroSports.com.
“I’ve been wanting this opportunity for a long time,” said King, who was named head varsity assistant by then-coach Khalid Green before last season.
Green, who was head coach at the Brooklyn school for five years, took a scouting job with the NBA’s New Jersey Nets two weeks ago. King was rumored to fill the job right away, but there were also talks that Loughlin would try to fill the opening with former coach Bob Leckie, who coached in Fort Greene for 13 seasons.
The school ended those rumors Wednesday.
“The transition won’t be difficult,” said King, 44, who is originally from Harlem and played high-school basketball at Laurinburg in North Carolina.
King started as a youth coach and worked his way up from the bottom. He now coaches the highly touted 2010 New Heights and has been rumored to be up for the program’s vacant position of athletic director. Kimani Young left that job to become an assistant on coach Norm Roberts’ staff at St. John’s.
“I started from the very core,” King said. “I’ve been really grinding for this a long time.”
He says there won’t be many changes on the basketball court from last year, when Loughlin won the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship. Doron Lamb, one of the top guards in the city, left for national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, but the Lions will return forward Jayvaughn Pinkston, one of the best players in the city. King did say he might up the tempo a bit.
King’s vision, he said, was to get the players more educated about the game of basketball – and more educated altogether. That was one of the reasons he started coaching for New Heights: he appreciated the program’s emphasis on academics.
“I just really felt what they’re going over there,” King said. “Basketball is important, but not the only thing.”
That’s what he plans on preaching at Loughlin. The opportunity has arisen, coaching in perhaps the best high-school basketball league in the country. King plans to make the most of it.
“At the end of the day, I want [the players] to put the character and the athletics and make it shine in the light,” he said. “I want guys to understand what it is they’re doing.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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