Kevin Ollie played in the NBA Finals with the Sixers in 2001. Ollie and the Sixers fell short of an NBA championship. Now, he has another opportunity to win a title — as an assistant coach for the Connecticut Huskies.
After playing for 11 different NBA franchises, including three separate stints with the Sixers, Ollie joined the UConn staff last summer under Jim Calhoun. In his first season, Ollie’s Huskies are in the Final Four this weekend.
Speaking from experience, Ollie told his players to seize the opportunity.
“This is a great time,” Ollie told them. “Take the opportunity. The time and the chance don’t work this perfectly all the time, so take advantage of it.”
Ollie said his goal is to “just continue to coach and make young guys accountable, just try to be a mentor.”
Especially when it comes to UConn point guard Kemba Walker.
“What I try to teach [Kemba] is leading your team,” said Ollie, a former UConn point guard himself. “Even before you say a word, it’s how you walk, it’s how you look. It’s your mindset, and they feed off that. It’s hard to be the best player on the floor every day.”
Does Ollie want to be a head coach down the road?
“That’s a possibility,” he said. “That’s something I would love to do.”