Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Maine Red Claws Announce Coaching Staff

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The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, today announced that Randy Livingston and Mike Procopio have been named assistant coaches. The announcement was made by Red Claws General Manager and President Jon Jennings.

“The addition of Randy Livingston and Mike Procopio, along with Head Coach Austin Ainge, gives the Red Claws an outstanding coaching staff as we enter our inaugural season,” said Jennings. “Randy Livingston brings a wealth of experience as a player and coach at the NBA D-League and NBA level. Mike Procopio rounds out our staff with his exceptional background as a player development coach. It is a testament to what we are building here in Maine that coaches of their caliber wanted to be a part of the Red Claws.”

RANDY LIVINGSTON: Randy Livingston, 34, led the Idaho Stampede to the 2008 D-League championship, retiring at the end of the season following a 12-year playing career to become the team’s associate head coach under Bryan Gates, now a Sacramento Kings assistant coach. Once the top rated high school player in the country, Livingston’s college and pro careers were hampered by injuries. Utah Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor referred to Livingston as “Not a good player – a great player” telling a Deseret News reporter “he was (among) the Jason Kidds of the world back then” before knee injuries curtailed his college career at Louisiana State. After being limited to just 29 games at LSU, he entered the 1996 NBA Draft and was selected in the second round (42nd overall) by the Houston Rockets. Over the next 12 seasons, he saw playing time with the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and Utah Jazz.

During his playing career, Livingston also spent time in the Turkish basketball league, playing for Galatasaray, and with the CBA’s Sioux Falls Skyforce and Idaho Stampede. The Idaho Stampede is where Livingston made his mark. Following a five-year playing career with the team, which joined the D-League in 2006, Livingston announced his retirement after leading the Stampede to the 2008 D-League championship. The 2006-07 D-League MVP left the team as its all-time leader in total points (2,428), assists (1,517) and games played (163). On April 10, 2009, Livingston became the only player in Stampede team history to have his jersey retired when his #32 was raised to the rafters of Qwest Arena near the 2008 championship banner. Mayor David Bieter proclaimed April 10 as “Randy Livingston Day” in the city of Boise. Following his retirement as a player, Livingston joined the Stampede as associate head coach, helping to lead the team to a 31-19 record and a second place finish in the West Division this season.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have a coach of Randy Livingston’s caliber to help me,” said Red Claws Head Coach Austin Ainge. “Randy knows the game, knows our league, and has experience at every level of basketball. I trust Randy’s instincts and basketball IQ implicitly and will rely heavily on his opinion.”

MIKE PROCOPIO: Considered among the top player development coaches in the country, Mike Procopio is a sought-after commodity among basketball’s elite, including Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Paul Pierce (Celtics), Devin Harris (Nets), Mike Finley (Spurs) and Dwayne Wade (Heat), who seek out his expertise to refine and develop their games. His drills focus on footwork and technique, teaching players the advantages of explosive footwork, scoring off the dribble, taking advantage of a defender’s weakness and eliminating wasted motion, among other skills.

A Revere, Massachusetts native, Procopio is the Director of Basketball Operations for Attack Athletics in Chicago, Illinois, a 65,000 square foot gym that trains approximately 80 NBA players and 20 top level college players each summer. Attack Athletics provides a cutting edge platform for athletes to sharpen their skills and become more effective players, using the latest research and technology. Along with current NBA players, Attack Athletics works with many of the top draft picks with a pre-draft program that emphasizes skill training and how to showcase their skills during camps and workouts.

Owned by Tim Grover, who was Michael Jordan’s personal trainer for fifteen years, Attack boasts a clientele that includes Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Andre Iguodala. Procopio, who has been with Attack Athletics for four years, made headlines this past season as a personal strategic game management coach to Kobe Bryant. Procopio, 34, would provide Bryant with statistical information on his upcoming opponents and give him scouting reports on how utilize his own skills as well as his teammates to be successful. As Bryant told Yahoo! Sports in June “To have someone as dedicated to the game as (Procopio), it was great for me. He could see things from the outside looking in that sometimes get a little cloudy when you’re in the moment of the battle. … All the time he would send me things I hadn’t thought about.”

A Suffolk University graduate, Procopio spent four years with the Boston Celtics as a scout primarily overseeing overseas players before joining Attack Athletics. He traces his current career back to his start as an assistant for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club under Leo Papile, Rick Pitino’s then assistant coach at Boston University who later became the Celtics’ director of player personnel, where he began working with the BABC players including Chris Herren. As word spread, he began working out players from area colleges. Procopio’s experience also includes stints as a high school coach at Revere High School and Notre Dame Prep, both in Massachusetts.

“Along with having four years of NBA front office experience, Mike Procopio regularly works out some of the best players in the NBA,” Ainge said. “His experience and ability to develop players should make our team a desirable place for every player looking to make a jump to the next level. As soon as I got this job, Mike was one of the first calls I made because of his experience teaching the game.”

SEASON TICKET UPDATE: The Red Claws have now sold 1,203 season tickets and continue to lead the 16-team NBA D-League in ticket sales and revenue. The Red Claws also presented five additional fans with a free season ticket after they successfully sunk a half court during this past weekend’s Pick-A-Seat open house.

MAINE RED CLAWS: 2009-10 will mark the inaugural season for the Maine Red Claws. The NBA D-League team will begin play in November at the Portland Expo Building. The franchise is owned and operated by Maine Basketball, LLC, which is principally owned by Bill Ryan Sr., the chairman of TD Banknorth Group, and Bill Ryan Jr., owner and operator of Oxford Plains Speedway. Jon Jennings, a partner in Maine Basketball, LLC and former Boston Celtics assistant coach, serves as the team’s president and general manager.

COURTESY MAINE RED CLAWS

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