By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doug Overton is a very familiar name to basketball fans in Philadelphia.
He was a star guard at Dobbins Tech in high school and then put together an outstanding career at La Salle University before being selected by Detroit in the second-round of the 1991 NBA Draft. A 14-year pro career followed (he spent 11 seasons in the NBA), which included a stint with the 76ers. Once his playing days were over, he got into coaching. He has spent the last several years with the Brooklyn Nets and this week he got his first head coaching gig, taking over Brooklyn’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Springfield (Mass.) Armor.
“It’s very exciting,” Overton tells KYW Newsradio. “Really looking forward to it and just excited about the opportunity to still be affiliated with the Nets, and the Springfield Armor. Just thankful to everybody for the opportunity.”
Overton says he coaching path was one he knew he wanted to travel for quite some time.
“I think it was a natural transition,” Overton says. “Going back to my playing days, I always wanted to be a coach when I got done playing. I got right into it when I retired, started in Philly with the Sixers, doing player development. Then I went to St. Joe’s and then I’ve been with the Nets for the past five or six years. It’s been great.”
And he says coaching has taken him on the quite the journey the last several years.
“I would never have imagined this,” Overton says. “This past summer, just thinking of that, I did a basketball camp in Norway. And I just got back from Cyprus doing a camp for the Brooklyn Nets.
“Now to be able to have my own program and to be able to coach my own team and to continue to grow and learn, it really has been a blessing and I’m really happy and thankful.”
While coaching more than keeps him busy, he says he was quite aware of the wonderful run into the Sweet 16 his Explorers went on in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
“That was awesome,” Overton says. “For them to just bring back great days when we were there with Lionel (Simmons) and Randy (Woods) and all the great teams. And it’s La Salle, just the tradition and the history of La Salle basketball. It was just great to see, to see them back and hopefully they’ll keep going. Coach (Dr. John) Giannini and his staff have done a great job.”
Overton takes over a Springfield Armor team that went 18-32 last season.