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Clippers hire longtime NCAA coach Paul Hewitt to head G League team

Coach Paul Hewitt at a game.
Paul Hewitt coaches George Mason during a 2015 game against Virginia Commonwealth.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

The Clippers have hired Paul Hewitt to coach their G League affiliate ahead of next month’s start to the season, The Times has learned.

Hewitt’s hiring for the Agua Caliente Clippers position marks a return to coaching for the former college coach at Siena, Georgia Tech and George Mason who had worked for the Clippers as a scout since 2016. He replaces Brian Adams, who in October joined Doc Rivers’ staff with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Hewitt’s coaching staff with Agua Caliente will include assistants Natalie Nakase, Chris Holguin, Darryl LaBarrie and Doug Martin, according to a person with knowledge of the hirings not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Nakase joined the Clippers in 2012 as an intern in the video room and spent a season coaching with Ontario-based Agua Caliente before being promoted to a player development assistant each of the last two seasons. Holguin joined the Clippers in 2016 as an assistant video coordinator and served as a coaching associate last season. LaBarrie played at Georgia Tech, coached on Hewitt’s staff there from 2009-11 and returned to the university as an assistant four years ago. Martin most recently coached the 16-and-under squad for Team Takeover, a high-level youth basketball team.

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The Clippers make second-half adjustments to come back from 18 down to beat the Miami Heat 109-105 on Thursday.

The G League is staging a shortened, monthlong season beginning Feb. 10 at Disney World near Orlando, Fla., the same site the NBA used to restart its pandemic-affected season last summer. Of the G League’s 29 teams, 17 opted to participate. In addition, the season will include G League Ignite, a team featuring a mixture of draft-eligible former high school stars and NBA veterans.

The teams play 15 games each before the top eight advance to a single-elimination tournament.

Agua Caliente opens Feb. 11 against Rio Grande Valley. Their roster has yet to be announced, but Jay Scrubb, the Clippers’ second-round draft pick in November who was signed to a two-way contract, will not be available after undergoing season-ending foot surgery in December.


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