The Agua Caliente Clippers announced their coaching staff for the 2021 NBA G League season. They’ll be led by new head coach Paul Hewitt and will feature assistant coaches Natalie Nakase, Chris Holguin, Darryl LaBarrie and Doug Martin.
Most notable, Nakase will join the coaching staff after spending the last three seasons as a player development assistant for the Clippers. This will be her ninth season in the organization after beginning as an intern video coordinator back in 2012. This will be her second stint with Agua Caliente, as she was an assistant in 2017.
Previously, Nakase was the head coach of the Saitama Broncos in Japan for the 2011-12 season, and an assistant coach for the Tokyo Apache in 2010-11. Nakase started her coaching career with the Wolfenbüttel Wildcats of the Damen-Basketball-Bundesliga in Germany from 2008-10.
Hewitt, the new head coach, has been a Clippers player evaluator for the past four seasons. He has 18 years of head coaching experience. He spent four seasons as the head coach at George Mason University (2011-15) and 11 as head coach at Georgia Tech (2000-11), leading the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Tournament five times and advancing to the national championship game in 2004. Hewitt was named the ACC Coach of the Year for the 2000-01 season and is the third-winningest coach in Georgia Tech history (190-162).
Here is what president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank had to say about the hire.
“Paul is a lifelong teacher who has spent most of the past 30 years working with young, talented players. He brings to the Agua Caliente Clippers a wealth of experience, a passion for development and an understanding of our organizational principles, having already served within our front office. Paul has assembled an impressive staff of assistant coaches, with diverse perspectives and skills, who will help prepare players for the next level.”
Holguin will be entering his fifth season with the Clippers organization. His career with the team began as an assistant video coordinator in 2016-17. After that, he was promoted to head video coordinator in 2017-18 and coaching associate in 2019-20.
LaBarrie joins Agua Caliente with 11 seasons of coaching experience, most recently serving as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech in 2016-17. Before that, LaBarrie spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia State (2011-16), leading the Panthers to two Sun Belt Conference regular-season titles and the Sweet Sixteen of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Before Georgia State, LaBarrie was an assistant under Coach Hewitt at Georgia Tech for two seasons (2009-11). LaBarrie also spent time as an assistant at East Carolina for two seasons (2007-09) and Campbell University for one season (2006-07).
Finally, Martin comes to Agua Caliente after coaching Team Takeover of the Elite Youth Basketball League, where he served as the program’s 16U head coach. Martin helped more than 150 youth players to Division I basketball teams, including NBA players such as Kevin Durant, Josh Hart and Ty Lawson. Martin played collegiately for Viterbo University from 1990-94, appearing in 87 games.