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Nets Forming Next Generation

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Nets Basketball
Nets Basketball

Billy King got his start in the NBA early. He was assistant coach of the Pacers under Larry Brown at 27, then vice president for basketball operations of the 76ers at 31 and GM at 32. Bobby Marks is a Nets lifer, going from an intern while at Marist College to first vice president for basketball operations at 34, then assistant GM at 38. So they know about youthful ambition.

Over the course of the last two years, the Killer B's have been quietly bringing in and promoting young talent. They're the next generation of basketball operations, a bunch of 20 (and a couple of 30) somethings. Two of them were assistant coaches at small colleges. Another has a Ph.D. Two of his colleagues have master's degrees. One has written a book. One was even a Nets ballboy! The latest hire is the son of the NBA's most powerful agent.

This being the Nets, three of them share the same first name, Matt, leading at least one writer to refer to the youth movement collectively as "the Matts".

Jeremy Bettle, 29, Strength and Conditioning Coach. Replaced Rich Dalatri just before this season started. Bettle holds a Ph.D in Human Performance - Exercise Science from Middle Tennessee State. His undergraduate degree is from Leeds Metropolitan University in his native England. A former personal trainer, Bettle joined the Nets from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has worked in the past with Peak Performance Project, the Santa Barbara training facility where Nets players worked out just prior to the lockout. He was featured in a UCSB video on fitness four months ago.

Patrick Spurgin, 27, Video Coordinator. Hired prior to last season. Formerly with San Antonio, where he also served as an assistant video coordinator and assistant coach for the Spurs' summer league teams where he worked with DaJuan Blair and George Hill. Works closely with Avery Johnson and the assistant coaches. Attends coaching meetings. Responsible for much of the team's video technology support. Got his start as an intern for the Washington Wizards, then was manager for the Pepperdine men's basketball team.

Sean Sweeney, 27, Assistant Video Coordinator. Hired prior to this season from the University of Northern Iowa, where he had been video coordinator. Had been assistant basketball coach at both Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge, MN and the University of Arts in San Francisco. For two years, had been director of basketball operations at Evansville University in Indiana, where he also taught "Coaching Basketball". Played basketball at St. Thomas University in St. Paul where he was captain of his college team. Has written a book, "The 101 Plays of The Playoffs" and maintains a website, TheManMakesIt . Twitter: @saintpaulsean

Matt Riccardi 26, Basketball Operations Coordinator. Hired prior to last season. Previously Team Services Assistant. He serves as an administrator for the team scouting staff as well as Billy King and Bobby Marks' right-hand man. Also helped Milton Lee with the D-League draft and other Armor issues. Played basketball at the University of Texas at Tyler, where he also served as an assistant coach. He earned a B.A.and M.B.A. in management at UT-Tyler as well, graduating first in his class. Joined the Nets after a short internship with a Dutch investment house. Twitter: @MVRiccardi

Matt Tellem, 22, Basketball Information Coordinator. Hired prior to this season, this is is his first job since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania (where Milton Lee and Christophe Charlier, the Nets chairman, hold degrees.) His job involves researching contract figures and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, making him Marks' apprentice capologist. He knows something about the field as the son of Arn Tellem, the NBA's most powerful agent. He played baseball as Penn for three years after captaining his high school team. Twitter: @MattTellem

Matt Reicher, 30, Assistant Athletic Trainer. A former Nets ballboy who who is in his fourth year as assistant trainer. In his fourth season as the Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Nets, Reicher works closely with Tim Walsh in the teams immediate medical Needs throughout the year. Prior to being named Assistant Athletic Trainer, Reicher served as the team’s Assistant Equipment Manager during the 2005-2006 season.

Robby Hoenshel, 33, Director of Rehabilitation. Hired prior to last season. Hoenshel is the first in-house rehab director. He came to the Nets after working at the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute where he served as a physical therapist. His duties included evaluation and treatment of sports and orthopedic injuries. Twitter: @rhoenshel

Scott Sereday, 28, Quantitative Statistical Analyst. Part-time while he finishes up a masters degree in statistics at Columbia. Got his undergraduate degree at Rutgers and worked for a while as an actuary. Got his start in basketball at "48 Hours of Hell" a Spurs fan site that's part of the TrueHoop Network. Does stats for both the Nets and Springfield Armor, sitting outside Milton Lee's office at the PNY Center. @scottsereday

Beyond those in East Rutherford, the Nets have two up-and-coming basketball operations types at Springfield, Chris Carrawell, the 33-year-old assistant coach of the Armor, and Mark Mahoney, the 25-year-old head trainer. Both are Nets employees.

Carrawell, of course, is one of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's acolytes. He was an Associated Press First Team All-American, as well as the ACC Player of the Year award during his senior season, when he played with Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and Shane Battier. After a pro career mostly overseas, he returned to Duke where he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and assistant video coordinator from 2008-2010. Twitter: @ChrisCarrawell

Mahoney is in his first season as the Armor’s Head Athletic Trainer. Before joining the Armor, Mahoney served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Kansas City Command of the Arena Football League. He also spent the 2010 NFL season as an athletic training intern with the Kansas City Chiefs. A native of Derby, KS, Mahoney completed his master’s degree in Exercise Science and Athletic Administration at the University of South Dakota in 2010. While completing his master’s, Mahoney worked as an athletic trainer with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.