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Brandon Roy Finds a New Purpose in Coaching

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Back at his alma mater, Roy has found a meaningful way to get back into the game of basketball.

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

While the Trail Blazers grind through another season in the increasingly competitive Western Conference, a familiar face found a new purpose coaching at his alma mater.

Portland hero Brandon Roy is now five years removed from NBA retirement following numerous (and well documented) knee procedures. Once labeled as the hardest player in the league to guard by Kobe Bryant, Roy took up a new project as head coach of Garfield High School in Seattle this year.

This week, his team is in California for the Rancho Mirage Holiday Classic. In an interview with Andrew John of the Desert Sun, Roy looked back on his brief NBA career with little regret:

“It was tough, not being able to play this game,” said Roy, now 33. “But I’m at peace now. Basketball is again in my life.

“And even if my knees were perfect again, I wouldn’t go back to the NBA.”

...

“I now love being able to go home and see my family at the end of the day,” said Roy, who made more than $82 million in salary during his brief NBA career.

Before taking the job at Garfield, Roy coached at nearby Nathan Hale High School. Spearheaded by the recruitment of phenom Michael Porter Jr., Roy led the team to a 29-0 record and won the Naismith National High School Coach of the Year.

Now back at his alma mater, Roy is cautiously optimistic about his future as a coach:

“I still don’t know if I’m a good coach, though,” Roy said. “Last year, Michael (Porter Jr.) did a great job of organizing our team and taking the lead. This year, we have another talented group of guys. I’m still learning and just trying to do the best I can.”

...

“There was a void, being 28 and not having basketball in my life,” he said, “but it’s gone now.

“I’m just glad I still have an opportunity to be a part of this game.”

Brandon Roy already has a firm place in Trail Blazers history. With a newfound aspiration in coaching, his legacy continues to grow.

You can read John’s full article, here.