With Ryan Saunders leaving the nation's capital to join his father's staff with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Wizards have hired Maryland women's basketball assistant coach David Adkins to take his place. Per Michael Lee:
David Adkins was a part of Brenda Freese's staff at Maryland. He'll be making transition from women's college hoops to the NBA #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 10, 2014
Adkins comes to the Wizards after spending the last five college seasons at Maryland on head coach Brenda Frese's staff. He worked primarily on player development, an area where the Wizards can certainly use his services. This goes in particular for some of their younger players, like Otto Porter.
While at Maryland, the Terps were 130-38, and went to the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four. Some of the players he has coached became first round picks in the WNBA Draft, including Tianna Hawkins in 2013 and Alyssa Thomas in 2014.
But, there's more.
Adkins is also well known for being a former assistant coach at D.C. area high school boys basketball powers Montrose Christian from 1999-2006, and DeMatha from 2006-2009. While coaching there, he had a chance to develop players like Kevin Durant, Greivis Vasquez, and Victor Oladipo before they were in the NBA. Adkins has also trained a number of other players who made the NBA, including former Maryland and now-Phoenix Suns center Alex Len.
Now that I mentioned Kevin Durant's name, that naturally leads to this question: Are they still close? The answer is yes, if these tweets are any indication:
Big Congrats to the University of Maryland women's basketball team, Final Four bound! S/O my high school coach Dave Adkins on the sideline— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 2, 2014
Look who made a late night visit to Comcast to get a workout in with @coachadkins! @KDTrey5 #MVP pic.twitter.com/BJFMtt4Jyw— Maryland WBB (@umdwbb) June 26, 2014
In summary, Adkins is well known within basketball circles as a player development coach and should be an asset on Randy Wittman's staff. You never know if his hiring could be the start of a recruiting pitch for Durant in 2016.