Brooklyn Nets hire former Spider Atkinson as head coach

Published: Apr. 18, 2016 at 3:01 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/AP) - Former Richmond basketball great and current NBA assistant coach Kenny Atkinson has been named the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Atkinson is currently an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks where he will continue serving until the end of their playoff run.

Atkinson has served as an assistant in Atlanta for four years. Prior to joining the Hawks, the Long Island native spent four years as an assistant with the New York Knicks where he helped the team reach the playoffs his final two seasons. Before that, he spent the 2007-08 campaign serving as the director of player development for the Houston Rockets.

Before starting his NBA coaching career, Atkinson spent three years as director of player development/assistant coach for Paris Basket Racing Club in France (2004-06) and the summer of 2006 as director of player development/assistant coach for the national team of the Republic of Georgia. He was also an assistant coach with the Ukraine national team at the European championships in 2011. Most recently, he has been head coach of the Dominican Republic national team.

Inducted into the Richmond Hall of Fame in 2010, Atkinson played from 1987-90, leading the Spiders to three postseason berths, including the Sweet 16 in 1988. He was a two-time All-CAA selection and earned CAA Player of the Year honors in 1987.

He ranks 10th all-time in scoring at Richmond with 1,549 points and is third all-time in career assists (464). Atkinson's eight threes in a single game still ties for the most in Richmond history.

Atkinson will become the first former Richmond player to be named head coach of an NBA team.