Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Edniesha Curry is finding her way in the NBA. In a piece for Sportsnet, writer Lindsay Dunn profiled the first-year assistant’s journey to NBA coaching and her time in Portland.
Curry joined the Blazers this past August when the organization overhauled its coaching staff under new head coach Chauncey Billups. A former player at the University of Oregon from 2000 to 2002, the job has been a homecoming to the Pacific Northwest.
The route from the Ducks to the Blazers has included playing stops in the WNBA and overseas, as well as college and international coaching gigs. A prominent moment during her teenage years sparked her inspiration to go down the basketball path.
But her love of basketball began with the 1996 Summer Games, when as a teenager she was inspired by Team USA’s women going undefeated (8-0) and winning the gold medal.
“Honestly, it was like the ‘96 Olympics,” Curry said. “When I saw Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes and all the rest of the crew in Atlanta. That’s where I was like, ‘I really want to be a women’s basketball player.’ And from then on, I wanted to be a Division-1 athlete.”
Curry’s final job before joining the Blazers was an assistant coaching position for the University of Maine men’s basketball team. In Dunn’s piece, Curry spoke on one key difference between college coaching and NBA coaching that has made the transition more fun.
“One of the big differences is just the relationships with the guys. That’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed the most. I’m getting a lot of quality time on the road to get to know them. That’s something that’s hard to do in college with all the NCAA rules. But this has been amazing, just to sit and have conversations with them.”
Curry is the first woman to serve in an assistant coaching position for the Blazers in franchise history. However, Dunn wrote how Curry isn’t the only woman in a high-profile position in the organization.
Curry isn’t the only WNBA connection to the Blazers. The franchise recently hired two-time WNBA Champion Sheri Sam as a scouting manager. They also promoted Jessica Cohen to head athletic trainer, making her the only female to hold that position in the NBA.
“I’m just glad to be a part of an organization. They’re hiring good people that happen to be women. It’s just awesome women that are really great at their jobs. They’re being seen for the work they do, not just for their gender.”