Photo courtesy of San Antonio Spurs/NBA.com
WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – Former Williams College men's basketball player Will Hardy, was recently promoted to Assistant Coach with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs and he has also been named to the USA Basketball 2019 FIBA World Cup staff and USA Basketball's Tokyo 2020 Olympics staff.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will serve as the head coach of the USA 2019 FIBA World Cup team and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics USA Basketball team.
The USA will open play on September 1st in Beijing, China versus the Czech Republic. The USA will also play Turkey and Japan in pool play. The 2019 FIBA World Cup will run through September 15.
Will Hardy was recently promoted to the assistant bench coach position with the Spurs the same day Spurs and NBA legend Tim Duncan was also added as an assistant bench coach in San Antonio.
In the Spurs' release about the hiring of the two assistant bench coaches Spurs head coach Greg Popovich stated, "Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality."
Hardy played guard and forward for the Ephs and appeared in 80 games in his four years. In Hardy's senior year the Ephs went 30-2 and lost in the NCAA DIII title game, 78-73, to Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
"I'm not at all surprised at Will's ascent within the Spurs' organization," said Mike Maker who coached Hardy his final two seasons at Williams. "His core values, work ethic, and basketball acumen make him a perfect fit for coach Popovich and their world class organization. Will possessed all the attributes they were looking for. However, what makes him so special is his upbringing and a Williams College education. Combining all that with a vibrant personality and a quick wit, makes him a rising star in an extremely competitive industry."
Hardy started as a video intern nine years ago with the Spurs and he has never left San Antonio. "I am very lucky to still be in San Antonio," said Hardy. "I understand that the opportunity to stay in one place for this long does not happen often in professional sports. I have been blessed to have so many people who have taken the time to teach me, help me, and continue to give me opportunities to grow and take on more responsibility. I am incredibly lucky to be a part of an amazing group of people here in San Antonio."
All nine years Hardy has been in San Antonio he has worked with one of the NBA's all-time great coaches and communicators in Gregg Popovich. "Pop is very honest and extremely humble as a leader," Hardy stated. "He takes interest in the players and staff as people first, and their roles/jobs second."
For the past three summers Will Hardy has coached the San Antonio Spurs' Summer League team in Las Vegas and his performance there has raised his profile in the Spurs' organization. Hardy speaking about his time as a head coach offered, "It definitely gave me a little insight into all of the things that run through a head coach's brain during a game. I think that perspective has helped me to become a better assistant coach in general, not just as it relates to being on the bench." Hardy added that being the Summer League head coach was a very different experience than his usual duties with the Spurs, "Being a head coach is a whole different ball game."
Hardy will switch roles this summer when he travels with the USA Basketball team to the FIBA 2019 World Cup in Beijing, China and the following year to the Toyo2020 Olympics.
For both of the USA Basketball teams Hardy will serve as the Team Videographer, where he will help game plan for upcoming opponents and assess the performance of the USA players in practices and games.
Hardy's arrival in Tokyo will also mean an Eph athlete or coach or both will have participated in three consecutive Summer Olympiads.