FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept 26, 2019) – Launched in conjunction with the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, the Tournament’s inaugural Coaches Clinic will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at North Fort Myers Recreation Center. The clinic will be held from 10 am. – 1 p.m. and is free to attend for all coaches in the greater Southwest Florida community. To register for the event, log on to www.fortmyerstipoff.com/clinic.
Attendees will hear insights from three established college and NBA coaches, including three-time NBA champion Joe Prunty, former college and NBA head coach and UNLV All-American Reggie Theus and reigning Suncoast Conference Coach of the Year Eric Murphy from Florida SouthWestern State. Together, the trio boasts nearly 50 years of coaching experience.
The clinic will provide local youth, AAU, middle and high school coaches with an opportunity to learn from these coaches for a day of in-depth basketball discussion. With an emphasis on teaching fundamentals, coaching tactics and best practices, the clinic will provide attendees with tips and strategies to share with the next generation of basketball talent in the Southwest Florida community.
Entering his fourth season with Florida SouthWestern State, and second as head coach, Murphy has helped the Bucs to an 86-13 record over the last three seasons. In his first year as head coach, Murphy lead the Bucs to a 30-3 record, including a 12-0 mark in conference play, and advanced to their second straight NJCAA National Tournament. Along with earning conference Coach of the Year honors, seven players were named to Suncoast All-Conference squads, including Conference Player of the Year Charles Manning Jr. Murphy previously spent three years on the staff at Northern Colorado and two seasons with Wabash Valley College.
A three-time NBA Champion alongside the legendary Gregg Popovich, Prunty is a 23-year NBA coaching veteran and former national team coach of Great Britain. After starting with the Spurs in 1996 as an assistant video coordinator, he became an assistant coach in 2000 and served under Popovich until 2005, winning championships in 1999, 2003 and 2005. After stops in Dallas, Portland, Cleveland and Brooklyn, Prunty worked for the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014-18, and took over as the Bucks interim head coach in January 2018 and helped lead the team to the playoffs. He most recently served on the staff of the Phoenix Suns.
After a 15-year playing career, Theus transitioned into the coaching space, where he spent nearly 15 years on the collegiate and professional sidelines. The ninth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, he started his college coaching career as an assistant at Louisville before serving as the head coach of New Mexico State from 2005-07. He became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2007 and was an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009-11. Following one year as head coach with the LA Defenders of the G League, he most recently spent five years as the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 2013-2018.
The Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off has quickly become a staple of the Southwest Florida sports calendar, and this year’s programs will only add to that excitement. Overall, the teams of the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, which include Bradley, Kansas State, Northwestern and Pitt, boast a combined 111 postseason tournament appearances, including 67 NCAA Tournament bids, seven Final Four berths and 48 conference championships. Bradley and K-State each claimed their respective conference championships a season ago, with the Braves clinching the Missouri Valley Tournament and the Wildcats winning the Big 12 title. Bradley (Cancun Challenge), K-State (Paradise Jam) and Pitt (Barclays Classic) each won their respective preseason tournaments to help kick off the 2018-19 campaign.
Full-Tournament tickets for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Tip-Off are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.fortmyerstipoff.com/tickets. Full-Tournament tickets start at just $40 and include one ticket for each day of the tournament. Semifinal matchups, scheduled for November 25, include Pitt squaring off with Kansas State at 6 p.m. ET and Northwestern taking on Bradley at 8:30 p.m. The third-place and championship contests, scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively, will be held on November 27. All games of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off will be televised by FS1.
About the Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off
Launched in 2018, the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off brings the nation’s top college basketball programs together for two days of incredible competition to see which team and their fans will #OwnTheFort during Thanksgiving Week. Contested at Suncoast Credit Union Arena, the home of Florida SouthWestern State College, the four-team tournament has quickly become a staple of the Southwest Florida sports calendar. For more information on the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, please visit www.fortmyerstipoff.com.
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