Conner Henry named head coach of the D-Fenders

On Wednesday, the D-Fenders named Conner Henry as head coach.

Henry was named coach of the year in 2014, leading the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to an NBA Development League title.

"I’m looking forward to returning to Los Angeles and to the D-Fenders organization," said Henry, who was previously an assistant with the team for two seasons.  "I would like to thank General Manager Nick Mazzella and the Buss family for having the faith to bring me home to pursue an NBA D-League championship. Our coaches, players and management will have one goal in mind, and that’s for our team to compete nightly while representing the Lakers, D-Fenders and our fans."

Henry will replace Phil Hubbard, who coached the Lakers' D-League affiliate last season.

"We expect great things from Conner Henry," said Joey Buss, the D-Fenders' president and chief executive officer. "We consider him to be the best coach in the league. His leadership is effective for winning and developing players, having earned a championship and development award in the last two seasons."

The Lakers called up two players from the team last season, guards Jabari Brown and Vander Blue.  The team also sent Jordan Clarkson, Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry and Tarik Black to the D-Fenders on assignment throughout the year.

"Our goal is to cultivate players and staff for the Lakers and the NBA, while competing for a D-League championship," Mazzella said.  "Conner has had great success over the past two seasons as a head coach in the D-League, and we are confident that with him at the helm these objectives will be met."

Like the 21-61 Lakers, the D-Fenders had a down season last year, missing the playoffs with a 17-33 record.

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