The New York Knicks hired Kevin Whitted to coach their exclusive D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks on Oct. 8. The Knicks decided to operate their own D-League franchise after being affiliated with the Erie Bayhawks the previous three seasons (2011-14).
“Kevin has a proven track record of developing players and is committed to the processes and development of this team,” said Westchester Knicks general manager Allan Houston. “Our relationship goes back to when we both attended the University of Tennessee. I’m confident in his ability to lead and provide an environment for players to grow on and off the court. This is an exciting time for this organization and community.”
Whitted, who played with Houston at Tennessee, most recently served as the interim head men’s basketball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He also played seven years professionally – in the U.S. and Europe – and has eight years of professional basketball coaching experience including three seasons in the D-League. In addition, Whitted has been nationally recognized as a basketball skills developer, training and developing elite level players in the NIKE Skills Academies.
Whitted started his coaching career in the n the American Basketball Association (ABA) and Professional Basketball League (PBL), where he won his first won his first two division championships as head coach. He then spent two seasons as the President of Basketball Operations for the Wilmington Sea Dawgs (PBL) before joining the D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants as an assistant coach. Following his stint with the Mad Ants, Whitted joined the Springfield Armour, who were affiliated with the Knicks at the time. He also spent a summer as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies summer league team.
Westchester will play their home games at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y. and opens the season at home versus Canton on Nov. 19. Westchester picked up 16 players in the D-League expansion draft including several players with NBA experience – Jeff Adrien, Craig Bracken, Luke Harrongody, Curtis Jerrells, Jerome Jordan, Kris Joseph and DaJuan Summers. In addition, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the Knicks second round selection in this year’s draft, is expected to spend the entire year in the D-League to continue his development.
Former Chicago Bulls guard Craig Hodges was considered for the Westchester Knicks head coaching position. He could be added as an assistant to Whitted’s staff.