As the Toronto Raptors gear up for the upcoming season, head coach Nick Nurse has made an addition to his coaching staff.
The Newcastle Eagles of the British Basketball League shared the announcement that longtime player/coach Fabulous 'Fab' Flournoy will move on to become an assistant coach with the Raptors.
📰 It is with sadness, but also with great joy that tonight we announce our 18 year player-coach @fabflournoy has made the huge step to join the @NBA's @Raptors. #AlwaysAnEagle https://t.co/pSFz44cvDi- Newcastle Eagles (@NewcastleEagle) September 3, 2019
Flournoy joins the Raptors after spending nearly two decades with the BBL's Eagles as he joined the team in 2001.
For more on his unique path to becoming an assistant coach with Toronto, here are a few fast facts…
Flournoy is a native of New York City, New York.
He attended Jane Addams Vocational High School in the Bronx, where he would not begin playing basketball until his sophomore year in 1988.
As a late bloomer, Flournoy first landed at Panola College, a junior college in Carthage, Tex. After two seasons at Panola, Flournoy would spend the final two seasons of his college career at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.
At McNeese, Flournoy posted averages of 9.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.1 steals over 51 games, with his college career coming to a close in 1995.
After finishing at McNeese in 1995, Flournoy would return to New York where he would work for a year before receiving a call from Nurse, who was the head coach of the BBL's Birmingham Bullets at the time.
Flournoy spent the first four years of his professional career with the Bullets, playing under Nurse in the 1996-97 season.
In 2000, Flournoy would sign with the BBL's Sheffield Sharks, where he would spend one season before again moving on to sign with the Newcastle Eagles in 2001.
It was in Newcastle where Flournoy would embark on a new career endeavour…
12 months after signing on to play with the Eagles, Flournoy was tabbed to replace the franchise's head coach while still serving a member of the team.
For the last 17 seasons, Flournoy has held the post of player/coach of the Eagles. At 45-years-old, he appeared in 27 games with the Eagles in 2018-19, starting in four.
Now, at 46, Flournoy is set to embark upon the next chapter of his coaching career as he joins the defending champions. In his 17 years as the Eagles' player/coach, he "has picked up 24 pieces of silverware."
Per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, it is safe to assume that Flournoy has been hired to replace Phil Handy, who left the Raptors to join the Los Angeles Lakers staff this offseason.
Should that be the case, Flournoy will assume a number of player development duties and be tasked with working with a number of the Raptors' younger players to look to tap into their potential.
Flournoy has spoken on his new opportunity in Toronto, saying "I knew this day would come at some point … But this unbelievable opportunity has come out of the blue and when I talked to (Eagles managing director Paul Blake) about the chance to move to the NBA, he told me to grab it with both hands."
🏀 @NewcastleEagle legend @FabFlournoy is on his way to the @Raptors- ITV News Tyne Tees (@itvtynetees) September 3, 2019
At 46, the native-New Yorker has retired as a player/coach in the @BBLofficial
Before he flew across the Atlantic, Fab was joined courtside by @sorourkeITV... Read more: https://t.co/FCJDAcTIgl pic.twitter.com/oEJOpXeqFQ
Based on Flournoy's familiarity with Nurse, his decades of experience as a player and coach and his excitement to take on the new challenge of coaching in the NBA, this looks to be a hire that will be beneficial for all parties involved.
Some information was obtained from a 2017 feature within the New York Times.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.