Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
In a first for the organization, the New York Knicks' G League team -- the Westchester Knicks -- will hire former New York Liberty player Lisa C. Willis as an assistant coach, SNY has learned.
Willis, who played two seasons with the Liberty after being selected fifth overall in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Sparks, will join the staff of first-year Westchester head coach Derrick Alston.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has stated that he'd like the NBA -- and, by extension, the G League -- to welcome more women's coaches. There are believed to be eight women coaching in either assistant or player development roles in the NBA at the moment.
Willis recently completed the NBA's Assistant Coaches Program (ACP), a program that helps former NBA, WNBA and G League players learn about and pursue front office and coaching opportunities.
Prior to her WNBA career, Willis starred at UCLA. Upon graduation, she led the school in all-time three-pointers made, ranked ninth all-time in points scored, and second all-time in steals. Willis was the first player in program history to have three straight seasons with 100 or more steals.
She joins Alston's staff and is expected to coach a roster that includes Amir Hinton, Lamar Peters, VJ King and Kenny Wooten.
All signed with Westchester on Saturday after playing for New York in Summer League and the preseason.
Westchester, led by VP of Player Development Craig Robinson, also drafted Montana State's Tyler Hall with the fourth pick of the G League Draft on Saturday.
G League training camp opens on Monday.
The Willis hire is a bright spot for the organization amid an 0-3 start for the NBA club. The Knicks look for their first win of the season on Monday when they host the Chicago Bulls.