Indiana University men’s basketball coach Mike Woodson has announced that Yasir Rosemond, who brings 14 years of experience as a collegiate coach, has been named an assistant coach with the Hoosiers.
He spent two seasons at Alabama as a member of Avery Johnson’s staff and coached first round draft picks Collin Sexton who currently plays with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being selected with the 8th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and Kira Lewis Jr. who was the 13th pick in the 2020 draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. He also coached SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Herbert Jones in each of his first two seasons at Alabama and John Petty Jr. and Alex Reese in their first two seasons at Alabama.
“I’m excited to finalize our coaching staff with the addition of Yasir,” said Woodson. “He brings a great deal of experience at schools like Alabama, Georgia and Oregon and has been a big contributor to their success and worked with and recruited a number of young men who were able to develop and take their game to the next level.”
In addition, Woodson has announced that Benny Sander has been promoted to Director of Basketball Operations, Brian Walsh will be the new Team and Recruitment Coordinator and Mike Roberts will become the Assistant AD for Basketball Administration. Director of Athletic Performance Clif Marshall will also remain on staff. Marshall, Sander and Walsh will begin their fifth year at IU, while Roberts will enter his third season.
“These men all will play valuable roles in the success of the program and the more I have gotten to know them it becomes more evident that they have great passion for our young men and I can’t wait to continue to work with them on a daily basis,” noted Woodson.
Rosemond joined the Crimson Tide after spending three seasons at Georgia (2014-17). The Atlanta, Ga., native also held coaching positions at Oregon, helping the Ducks reach the 2007 Elite 8, Samford and Seattle University during his 13-year coaching career.
While at Oregon, Rosemond coached three future NBA draft picks, including All-American Aaron Brooks (26th overall pick in 2007 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets), Maarty Leunen (54th overall pick in 2008 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets) and Malik Hairston (48th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns).
Furthermore, Rosemond also coached former standout Tajuan Porter, who holds the University of Oregon and PAC-12 record for three-pointers made in a single-season (110) and for a career (345). Porter, the 2007 PAC-10 Tournament MVP, currently ranks eighth in school history for career field goals made (584) and ninth in career steals (103).
Prior to his three years at Georgia, Rosemond worked at Samford from 2012-14 under former IU assistant coach Bennie Seltzer, after spending the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at Seattle University under head coach Cameron Dollar.
Rosemond, a graduate of the University of Oregon, made his mark on the collegiate basketball landscape during his five seasons (2005-10) at his alma mater under head coach Ernie Kent. The first two of those years he was Director of Basketball Operations, the latter three serving as an assistant coach.
While on the Ducks’ coaching staff, Rosemond helped assemble a top-25 recruiting class in 2008 and also coached Brooks, a 2007 All-American and 10-year NBA veteran currently with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Before joining the staff at Oregon, Rosemond coached as an assistant for two seasons at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., in 2003-04 and 2004-05. He helped the Cougars advance to the NJCAA championship game during 2004. In his two seasons at Redlands, Rosemond coached three junior college All-America performers – Taj Gray, Brandon Polk and Sylvester Mayes.
As a player, Rosemond was a standout guard at Douglass High School in Atlanta. Highlights of his prep career include earning All-State honors each of final three seasons. He helped lead the Astros to the semifinals of the 1993 Class 4A state tournament.
Rosemond then played at No. 1-ranked Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Florida for one season during 1995-96 and also attended Butler (Kan.) Community College, where he redshirted during the 1996-97 campaign. While there, he was teammates with future NBA standout Stephen Jackson.
Rosemond moved on to Oregon for two seasons, where he played in 58 career games for the Ducks. He was honored as the recipient of the team’s John Warren Award in 1999, which is given to the most inspirational player on the Oregon basketball team.
Rosemond then enjoyed a four-season professional career in Brazil, playing for teams in Sao Paulo, Mogi das Cruzes and Hebraica while also working on his degree.
After he retired from professional basketball, Rosemond returned to Eugene and completed the final class (calculus) required to receive his bachelor’s in sociology from Oregon in 2003.
Slick Leonard channeled his athleticism into the 1953 National Championship at Indiana University and a seven-year NBA career, his leadership into three ABA championships with the Indiana Pacers, his audacity into successful efforts to keep the Pacers in Indianapolis, his charisma and enthusiasm into a 35 year career as a broadcaster, and his love of people into thousands of friendships.
His very full life ended yesterday after 88 magnificently crafted years.
The impact of Slick Leonard on life in central Indiana cannot be overstated. When the Pacers were in dire financial straits, Slick and his incredible wife Nancy hosted a telethon in 1977 that kept the team solvent, which allowed it to stay in Indy. Without the Pacers staying, the Colts likely would never have moved to Indy. Without the Colts, the NCAA never comes. Without the Pacers and Colts flourishing Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium would never have been built.
Without the Pacers, Colts, and NCAA, hundreds of restaurants and hotels would never have opened, apartment buildings would never have been built, and downtown Indy would be empty, decrepit, and sad.
Those three entities have made possible Indy hosting the Super Bowl, many Final Fours, even more Big 10 Tournaments, NBA Finals, and an upcoming college football national championship and NBA All-Star Weekend . Without sports, Indy’s downtown would be a wasteland – as it was until critical mass was met here over the last 20 years.
The Pacers, Colts, and NCAA, along with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are the pillars of Indy’s sports driven ecosystem, and they have helped elevate this city into one of the most livable in America. Without Slick and Nancy, three of those four would be helping another city thrive.
So that’s Slick’s (and Nancy’s) practical impact on Indianapolis, but as important as they have been to Indianapolis’s economic growth, Slick may have exceeded that impact through his kindness and generosity. There are very few people in Indianapolis without a story about Slick taking time to enjoy a conversation which made them feel special.
Slick was one of the most comfortable-in-his-skin people in the history of humanity. He did his best to squeeze the last drop of fun and compassion he could out of each day, and then slept well so he could do it again. He never took for granted the love strangers felt for him, and he made sure they never felt less important to him than he was to them.
As a broadcaster, Slick brought emotion, insight, and fun to radio calls of Pacers games. It is impossible to think of Reggie Miller‘s hall of fame worthy contributions to the Pacers without hearing Slick yell “Boom Baby!” That signature call wasn’t concocted during a brainstorm in some fancy conference room; it was an organic expression of joy that accompanied every three-pointer a Pacer made.
There are deaths that are mourned for coming too early, and lives celebrated for their triumphs. Slick’s passing manages to evoke both. Despite being 88, Slick was still schooling up fans about the Pacers last weekend with Eddie White on 107.5 the Fan. His kindness and friendship will be missed, but the effect his presence had on those who knew him – or simply met him – as well as the economy of his city will be felt forever.
All of us view the sum value of our lives differently. Some try to live with joy and generosity each day so others may enjoy life more. Some try to impact the economy so others might be provided for. Some throw all their resources into raising a family so their children can achieve their dreams. Still others measure their success through how often they and those around them laugh. Somehow, Slick managed to check all those boxes.
It’s traditional to lament the death of those we love or admire as a loss. That’s not necessary or even possible with Slick. Our memory of a truly great man will keep him with us – always. His life will tangibly affect Indianapolis – forever. His example will be there for us to try to live up to as long as we live.
That’s a hell of a legacy.
Slick Leonard may no longer walk among us, but he will ALWAYS be here.
Joey Brunk is leaving the Indiana University basketball program.
Brunk has had a strange college basketball career, not at all what was projected as he graduated from Southport High School, south of Indianapolis. It began at Butler where he played and studied for his first three seasons and continued at IU for the last two after he transferred.
The beginning at Butler was marred by his father’s death, and the final year at IU was over before it began because of a back injury. The bonus year of eligibility as a response to COVID allows Brunk a sixth year, which he will use elsewhere, can be a valedictory lap that hopefully wraps his career with a joyous bow.
Fans prone to anger over players leaving a program should press pause on their discontent in Brunk’s case. He’s dealt with tremendous adversity throughout what he expected to be a happy period of his life. It didn’t work out that way, so let’s allow him to leave IU for another opportunity without the usual rancorous protests.
This leaves Indiana with a roster of 11 scholarship players. Because Brunk’s scholarship was extended due to a COVID exemption, Indiana’s limit is reduced from 14 to 13, and the number of scholarships available remains at two.
He tweeted the following message of thanks:
I’m incredibly grateful for Indiana University. I have been able to get my Master’s Degree and am thankful to have been able to continue my education. I’ve decided to pursue my final year elsewhere. Thank you Indiana.
— Joey Brunk (@JoeyBrunk) April 13, 2021
Some cities vibe will self-important duplicitous athletes. Indianapolis is not one of them.
Paul George evolved during his time as an Indiana Pacers from humble rookie who wanted to fit in with his new teammates and city into a diva who created his own nickname and embraced his brand as more valuable than his relationship with the team or fans.
He returns tonight to the building that served as his home arena for the first seven years of his career, and he will hear boos. That’s unusual for an athlete returning to Indianapolis. Lance Stephenson, Antonio Davis, Peyton Manning, Mark Jackson, Edgerrin James, and many others received warm welcomes when they came back to the place where they started their professional careers. George will never enjoy that kind of ovation.
People will misjudge the boos as the reaction of fans disenchanted with a player who rejected their team and city. It’s actually the response to the lies George told on his way out the door. The truth was never more important to George than how the message would be received. He said what he thought people wanted to hear, misjudging the importance of honor and trust.
“I am all about trying to make this team better,” George said at the Caroline Symmes Celebrity Softball Challenge on June 15, 2017. “I want that ring. I need some help to get that accomplished. I’m a Pacer. There’s no way around that. This is my team, my group, and this is where I’m at… It’s all about bringing a championship to Indiana.”
Two weeks later, the Pacers accomodated George’s request to be traded. He went to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis. Since then, he made a similar pledge to remain in OKC before being dealt again to his hometown Los Angeles Clippers.
Pacers fans would have understood if at the softball game, George said, “Look, I love and appreciate Indianapolis, but it has always been my dream to play in my hometown. When I am a free agent, I am going to pursue a deal in LA. I would love to finish my contract here, but if the Pacers can get a solid deal for me, I’m good with that. Indy and the Pacers will always be close to my heart, but I want to play in my hometown.”
That would have been an honest expression of George’s career desire. People would have been disappointed, but understood. People from Indianapolis know what it is like to love their hometown and would have empathized with George’s desire to indulge that dream, but telling the truth in a way people will understand is not George’s way. The truth is not a priority with him. He says what he believes people want to hear regardless of what he knows to be true.
Indy is not butt-hurt over George’s desire to go home to play in more familiar environs. People in Indiana are honest by nature, and they respect those who share their penchant for the truth.
And so tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, George will be booed – not his desire to go home, but for his lies.