The NBA does it again. For the fourth time this off-season, one of its franchise’s has hired a woman to be an assistant coach. The Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins named Niele Ivey to his coaching staff, making her the ninth active female assistant coach in the NBA.
For the past 12 years, Ivey has spent her time in the South Bend where she was the recruiting coordinator and associate head coach at the University of Notre Dame. During her time at Notre Dame, the “Fighting Irish” went 385-55, making that a 0.875 record, which includes 14 conference championships, six NCAA title game appearances, and the national championship win in 2018.
She is known for her knack to develop players into All Americans at the highest level of play such as, Skylar Diggins Smith, Jewell Loyd, Lindsay Allen, and Arike Ogunbowale. She has ensured Notre Dame has become one of the most covenant destinations for top high school talents to continue their basketball career at the next level.
“This is no other place that has impacted me more as a player, coach and person than Notre Dame,” Ivey said in a statement.
“I’ve gained friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime. But the biggest impact that I’ve had is from the relationship I have with Coach McGraw. I’m so grateful for Coach McGraw. She has been so much more than just a coach, mentor and boss. She believed in me and gave me my opportunity at Notre Dame and I am forever grateful. I stand tall, confident and ready because of the tools she has instilled in me” expressed Ivey once she decided to leave her alma mater.”
Coach Muffet McGraw also talked highly of Niele Ivey and even hinted that she wants her former player to follow her as head coach when she is done.
“It really speaks to Niele’s expertise that, out of all the coaches in the country, she was chosen for this position,” McGraw said. “The NBA is setting an excellent precedent of hiring and promoting women. This is going to be a great learning experience for Niele and hopefully one day she can take all that she’s learned and bring it back to our program.”