Duke coach Jon Scheyer has named Will Avery as an assistant coach. Avery replaces Amile Jefferson, who left Duke to become an assistant with the Boston Celtics.
Avery’s journey is certainly interesting.
He came to Duke as part of the celebrated 1997 recruiting class along with Chris Burgess, Shane Battier and Elton Brand.
Then sophomores, Brand and Avery, along with freshman Corey Maggette, became the first players to leave Duke early, something that didn't sit well with some Duke fans. There was a bit of an uproar too over how then coach Mike Krzyzewski allegedly responded, which led him to appear on local talk radio to explain what he said and why.
Avery’s NBA career didn't work out and after his rookie contract, he played overseas for 12 teams in Germany, Israel, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey and Poland.
He’s been back in Durham for a while now, finishing his degree and working with the basketball program in various capacities.
He has a broad range of experiences that should help him as a coach and if you studied it, you’d probably find that a lot of coaches, including Scheyer, were point guards in their playing days.
So congratulations to Avery and we hope he’s a tremendous addition to the staff.
Correction - Avery was not hired as a direct replacement for Jefferson. Rather, he is one of two additional coaching hires now allowed by the NCAA.