Natt, Gaudet to coach national basketball teams

Updated: May 17, 2011, 16:58 PM IST

New Delhi: In a bid to strengthen the existing system, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) on Tuesday appointed Kenny Natt as the head coach of the men`s national team, while Pete Gaudet will shoulder the responsibility of women`s team.

Natt, who has got 13 years coaching experience in the National Basketball Association, will replace Bill Harris while Gaudet, a veteran with more than four decades of international exposure will succeed Tamika Raymond.

Apart from the two, BFI has also appointed Zak Penwell as the strength and conditioning coach.

Penwell will be responsible for developing and implementing specialised nutritional, strength training and conditioning programs for national men`s and women`s teams.

Natt has worked with Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings. He was also the head coach of the Kings during the 2008-09 NBA season and has been associated with the likes of John Stockton, Karl Malone and current NBA star LeBron James.

Even Gaudet has been in basketball for more than 40 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position.

He has coached both men and women at the highest levels of American college basketball, including positions at West Point, Duke University, Vanderbilt, and The Ohio State University, and has extensive technical and international basketball experience.

Terming the appointment of the trio as the "watershed moment", BFI Chief Executive Officer Harish Sharma said that the three will play a vital role in taking the sport to the next level.

"We are excited beyond words to bring on board these three incredible coaches, who will play a critical role in helping us achieve our vision of growing basketball in India by developing and showcasing the best player and coaching talent in the country.

"The introduction of this wealth of basketball knowledge and ability is a watershed moment for Indian basketball," Sharma said.

In addition to individual skill development and coaching of the elite men`s and women`s players in India, the trio will play integral roles in the development of basketball coaching talent in the country.

They will also be deeply involved in construction of the BFI`s overall basketball development plan for both the youth and senior national team programs.