Former NBA player to join men’s basketball coaching staff

Former NBA player Donyell Marshall will be named a GW men’s basketball assistant coach, Colonials head coach Karl Hobbs said on Wednesday.

Marshall, who spent 15 seasons in the NBA playing for the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers amongst others, will replace former GW assistant Brian Ellerbe, who left in early May to take the same position at DePaul University in Chicago.

Hobbs, who was an assistant coach at Connecticut during Marshall’s time as a player there, said that their personal relationship was a major factor in his decision to bring the former NBA top-five draft-pick to Foggy Bottom.

“I’ve coached him, so I’ve known him for quite some time,” Hobbs said. “Because of that, there is a family connection there.”

Marshall, who played for eight different teams during his NBA career, was a Second-Team All-Rookie selection in his first season out of college. While at Connecticut, Marshall was the Big East Player of the Year and a First-Team All-America selection in 1993-94.

Hobbs was quick to point to Marshall’s NBA experience as being especially important as coaches across the country, Marshall included, prepare to hit the recruiting trail beginning July 1.

“Anytime you bring in a person with that kind of name recognition, it instantly gives you credibility with the kids and the parents,” Hobbs said. “When you have a guy that can talk about his days playing with LeBron James and all the various players that he’s played with…it helps.”

The GW head coach also emphasized Marshall’s involvement with AAU basketball as a potential pipeline for future recruits.

“Recruiting, that’s the lifeblood of any program and that’s the effort that we feel that we gotta put a lot of focus into,” Hobbs said. “I think that his relationships that he’s developed over the years from his involvement with the AAU and having run an AAU program for all these years, I just think that it’s gonna help us tremendously.”

In addition to leaning on him as a recruiter, Hobbs said that he hoped Marshall would be an asset in player development for a team that featured six freshmen last season.

“I think with a young team like this, having a guy with that kind of NBA experience and the ability to work with our guys to help them develop, the timing couldn’t be better,” Hobbs said.

Despite the fact that the job will be Marshall’s first ever as a coach at the collegiate level, Hobbs said he doubted that the former NBA shooting guard, who played under Jerry Sloan while playing for the Utah Jazz and Mike Brown while playing for the Cavaliers, would struggle at all making the transition to the sideline.

“You’re talking about a guy, when you look at the coaches he’s played under, he’s bringing all those experiences to us, and you just can’t say enough for that,” Hobbs said. “No other guy I talked to had that kind of experience, having played for the various coaches throughout the NBA.”

“He’s been around some of the best basketball minds in the world, and he’s bringing all those experiences to us,” Hobbs added. “Who better to develop our young talent than him?”

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