WATERLOO — Gary Rima is already chalking up his first victory as owner and general manager of the new Cedar Valley Court Kings semi-pro basketball team.
Monday afternoon at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Dan Gable Museum where the Court Kings now have an office, Rima introduced Stan Hughes as the club’s first head coach.
Hughes has an impressive background in coaching, most recently as head coach at Quakerdale Promise Academy in New Providence where he led the Eagles to a pair of national championships.
Before that, the native of the Washington, D.C., area served as a Director of Basketball Operations for the Kentucky Reach of the ABA, was an assistant coach at the high school level and built a men’s basketball program at Simmons College in Kentucky where his teams compiled a 127-29 record. Hughes also coached the highly successful DC Assault AAU program and has sent dozens of players on to the collegiate and professional levels.
“He’s the perfect guy for this team, the perfect fit,” said Rima, who was still putting together his franchise last November when he set his sights on Hughes. “He was my first choice from the very start.
“Him and I have the exact same vision for this team,” added Rima. “For what we want to try to help the players do … anybody involved with the team.”
As a coach, Hughes’ mission reaches beyond the Xs and Os. He’s all about providing opportunities for young players and developing them as both players and individuals.
“I’m excited about what’s getting ready take place,” said Hughes. “I do truly, truly believe this will be a good opportunity for the city to embrace this team. I think it will help the youth in the area to get them involved in something that’s different.
“I hope everybody will call this team their own.”
Asked what style of basketball he wants his teams to play, Hughes referenced the San Antonio Spurs under legendary coach Gregg Popovich.
“I’m hoping I can find a Tim Duncan and a Kawhi Leonard type of player. My style is a Popovich-type style. I like to open the floor up. I’m a good teacher.
“My main concern is to make sure we can put each individual into a better situation. I love dealing with the unhelped kids, and the majority of these guys will be guys who have a dream of going to the NBA, but they didn’t have the proper route to get there.”
Hughes, who will also be working as a community outreach director for Iowa State University, knows plenty about the Cedar Valley from his time at Quakerdale and the year or so he lived in Waterloo. He knows there is no shortage of talent coming out of Iowa’s four-year universities and two-year community colleges, but he envisions a team that also includes players from elsewhere around the country.
As for Hughes, he embraces the idea of building something new, as he did at Simmons and Quakerdale.
“I like to start at the bottom and work my way up,” said Hughes. “I’m not a person who wants the microwave effect. I want you to see what it is that I can do.”
That process will start in earnest Sunday, Jan. 24 with the club’s first open tryout at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex.
Article Source: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Doug Newhoff firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy Photo Cedar Valley CourtKings head coach Stan Hughes is pictured following an introductory news conference Monday at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo.