Former NBA Player Armon Gilliam Named as Penn State Altoona Coach
Friday, July 12, 2002 - 3396 hits
ALTOONA -- Former NBA player and UNLV standout Armon Gilliam has been named as Penn State Altoona's men's head basketball coach.
Gilliam, a Pittsburgh area native (Bethel Park), played 13 years in the NBA. He was selected by the Phoenix Suns as the second pick in the 1987 NBA draft, following four years of play at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). His NBA career included competition for the NBA championship on several teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76er's, Milwaukee Bucks, and Utah Jazz, where he finished his career.
During Gilliam's four years at UNLV, the team ranked number one in the country for three consecutive years and reached the Final Four in 1987, under the direction of winning Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian.
At UNLV, Gilliam earned a bachelor's degree in Communications with a minor in Ethnic Studies, while making the Dean's List for two years. He also received the Academic Achievement Award in 1985 and was named the Black Student-Athlete of the Year in 1986.
Gilliam was inducted into the Bethel Park Hall of Fame for Basketball in 1997 and the UNLV Hall of Fame in 1998. He was selected to the Division I All-American Team in 1987 and was a finalist for the John Wooden Award the same year. He made the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1988, was named MVP of the New Jersey Nets for three consecutive years (1994-1996), and was honored in 1996 for scoring 10,000 points during his NBA career.
He has advised a number of high school coaches in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh and worked over the past 22 years as a speaker and instructor for hundreds of basketball camps across the United States and Europe. Gilliam was most recently the head coach of last year's Penn State McKeesport basketball team.
"We are thrilled to welcome Coach Gilliam to Penn State Altoona's intercollegiate athletics program and are excited by the leadership, skill, and level of professionalism he will bring to our men's basketball program as it continues to grow in Division III competition," says Fredina Ingold, director of athletics.
"Penn State Altoona is committed to excellence in all that we do," says Dr. William G. Cale Jr., CEO and Dean. "When we made the decision to move to a full-time coaching position in men's basketball, we set out to find the best coach in the country to lead our team. We have certainly achieved that with the appointment of Armon Gilliam."
"As I make the step from the court to the coach's box, it becomes increasingly important to pass on a good legacy to the next generation of athletes," Gilliam says. "I have acquired a wealth of basketball knowledge throughout my collegiate and professional basketball careers that I am eager to share with young athletes. However, it is vitally important to facilitate the growth of these young men into people who will have a promising future. I will be a coach who prepares the student-athletes in the basketball program to be successful on the court and in the game of life."
The Penn State Altoona Lions kick off their 2002-2003 season November 23-24 at the Juniata College Tournament. The team opens its home season November 26 against Juniata College at 7 p.m. in the Adler Athletic Complex.
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