For those who celebrate, today is Christmas Eve. A family tradition we have had here, is that everyone gets to open 1 gift from a family member before they get to go to sleep.
Over the next week, we will be introducing you to our assistant coaches. Our gift to you today, is announcing the first member of our assistant coaching staff. Another name that is no stranger to NBLC fans, and if he’s not familiar to you, he will be, and quickly!
Cliff Clinkscales – the former floor general for the Halifax Hurricanes has decided it’s time. It’s not time to hang up the sneakers, but time to mentor the next generation.
In his interview, I asked why he wasn’t going to play this year, the response: “I didn’t end my career on my terms, I know going to play anywhere other than Halifax just won’t be the same. With the Hurricane’s not coming back this year, it was clear that it was time for a change. Nothing will ever be like Halifax, the fan’s love for the team, my teammates, and my relationship with Mike Leslie just can’t be replicated anywhere.”
His early career found him on SLAM magazine in 1996 as a teenager, and he’s appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Recruited by the Kansas Jayhawks, and USC Trojans, among many others, he decided on DePaul because he wanted to play in the Big East.
Clinkscales played his full college career at DePaul University in Chicago. The Div-I school in the Big East Conference has a long history of success appearing in the NCAA tournament 22 times. Clinkscales was part of the team that beat the #5 ranked Kansas in 2007, as well as logging wins against NCAA Tournament regulars Northwestern State, Marquette, Connecticut, California, and Villanova. They qualified for the 2005 & 2007 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Clinkscales’ professional playing career was off to a hot start being drafted 7th overall in the 2008 NBA Development Draft by the Erie BayHawks. A short trip to Rio Grande Vipers, he was back in Erie, and played one season in Panama City.
From there… it was Halifax, and he’s stayed there until the pandemic ended the 2019-2020 season. It’s a new start, a new team, and a new role, aligning with the 10th anniversary of the NBLC as a league and KW’s 5th season.
“He’s basketball royalty in Halifax, and I couldn’t have been more excited when he reached out about joining the staff. Cliff has been working with different levels of players as a coach during his off seasons. As the General of the Hurricanes, he’s led that team more than just his on court performances. He’s committed to being a professional coach as the next step in his career, and has so much technical knowledge and experience to share with these young guards we are bringing in.
It’s a hard transition to move to a coaching role, especially when you weren’t really ready to end your playing career, and something happens to take that away from you. He believes in what we are doing as an organization, and is an advocate of education and professional development. The staff around him has years of experience to help with the transition, and our whole purpose as an organization is to grow everyone professionally and personally. I can’t wait for him to get up here and start working with our guards.” – Mel Kobe, VP Basketball Operations & General Manager.
Do you need a last minute stocking stuffer? Head on over and grab tickets! You really aren’t going to want to miss this season!