NEW ORLEANS — David Vanterpool of St. Thomas is one of 14 coaches being considered for the head coaching position of the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA.
According to an article in SB Nation, if the Pelicans are interested in a coach who has embraced the small market experience available to him as an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers … The Big Easy could be Vanterpool’s next stop.
“Portland assistant coach David Vanterpool could be the key to that kind of success if given the opportunity many around the league think he deserves,” SB Nation writes. “Vanterpool is well traveled; a native of the Virgin Islands, he played college basketball at St. Bonaventure before beginning a professional career that took him around the globe. He was drafted by the Quad City Thunder of the Canadian Basketball Association, played in Italy and China, had a brief stop in the NBA, and then went back to Europe, spending time in Italy (where he won an MVP in 2004) and finally Russia.”
The Vox Media source said that there is also a market for NBA teams “without a real shot at being the prom king — like the Portland Trail Blazers or the Grit and Grind Grizzlies” that the 46-year-old Vanterpool could capitalize on.
“Upon retirement as a player from CSKA Moscow, Vanterpool joined their coaching staff before being named Director of Pro Personnel for the Oklahoma City Thunder,” SB Nation said. “He then became a fixture on the Blazers bench, where he’s been for the last 6 years, and has also served as an assistant for the Canadian national team.”
Vanterpool, who has been a five-time coach for Basketball Without Borders and runs coaching clinics in the Bahamas, said he is humbled by the consideration of the Pelicans.
“My favorite part of the job is the opportunity to impact these young men’s lives,” Vanterpool said. “You’d be surprised how many times the conversation gravitates from basketball to life. In this job, you get an opportunity to be closely related to some of the most admired people in sports. But, aside from them being admired for their athletic prowess, they’re still people. They’re highly talented; more talented than I could’ve ever dreamed to be. But you realize that you can contribute to their lives aside from their profession. If I have some little tidbit I can offer a player and it can impact his life, that is really gratifying. Sometimes, it’s telling them about a mistake that I made in the past. That means a lot to me. You’re watching these kids’ lives completely transform.”
USVI Basketball responded on Twitter to the Virgin Islands Free Press that Vanterpool is the front-runner for head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Vanterpool also interviewed to be the head coach of the Orlando Magic in May of 2016, according to NBC News.