Toronto Raptors

Raptors' assistant coach Phil Handy returns to Australia to help drive Basketball Academy

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Phil Handy gives instructions during a training session with Melbourne United at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre. (Getty)

The Toronto Raptors will play host to Melbourne United of the Australian NBL in October as part of the NBA and NBL's six-game preseason clash.

On Wednesday, the Australian league champions announced another connection to the Raptors as recently hired assistant coach Phil Handy will lend a helping hand to their basketball academy.

MORE: Who is Phil Handy? Fast facts about the Raptors' newest assistant coach

Handy, who spent time playing professionally in Australia for the Melbourne Tigers in the early 2000s, will serve as a resource to help player development with the academy.

"We'll have the support and guidance of Phil Handy, which is really exciting," Melbourne United CEO Vince Crivelli said in a press release.

"He will partner with us in the on-going development of the academy and physically spend some time here in Australia working with the athletes during his NBA off-season."

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Handy is well known on the international scene playing most of his professional career overseas in Israel, France, England, Germany, Italy and Australia.

Upon his retirement from the game, he focussed in on player development spending time with Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James along the way.

"He'll bring a different set of eyes," Crivelli continued. "An international approach to the game and the absolute latest when it comes to teaching aids for a complete up-skill for all our coaches who will be delivering the program to the athletes.

"It's becoming more and more common these days for young Australians to be highly recruited overseas and having a guy like Phil Handy, who is highly touted in the NBA as a great skills coach and now as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors, and has a history with Melbourne, it just kind of closes the loop and gives us another point of reference."

Handy will help the club's coaching staff in developing programs and talent ID camps.

The academy intends to provide boys and girls aged 12-18 the ability to develop at an elite level both on and off the court.

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