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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies. E-mail Bob.

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September 18, 2007

Newell coaching in China

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:07 PM

Wanted to alert you to some news about Tom Newell, the former Sonics assistant who organized the "11-foot'' basketball game this summer at Edmundson Pavilion and is one of the leading voices for the sport in the Seattle area.

Here is the release announcing his new position:

Former NBA Assistant Tom Newell announces that he is leaving this week to assume the position of Head Coach of the Jilin Northeast Tigers professional basketball team, a member of the Chinese Basketball Association.

"The new 'frontier' for Asian basketball players today, is China: they have the most participants, coaches and programs to facilitate the ongoing development and disciplines to produce a large number of future NBA players," said Coach Newell. "I am really excited about the prospects of visiting another Asian country and sharing basketball knowledge with this country and its coaches and players. The League is very competitive and Jilin is an up and coming team."

Newell will write a blog, release podcasts, and hold live chats about his experiences on his web site, "I am thankful and honored for this opportunity and look forward to sharing my adventures on my network," declared Newell. "I will be blogging from time to time to fill in my experiences with the culture and the players who are on our team..."

The Tigers feature Chinese National Team player Wang Bo, a 6'7" Guard/Forward who led the league in assists last year and is considered one of the better athletes in the League. Newell will have 2 American players that were recently drafted by the CBA: first round pick DeJuan Tate, 6'4" 2G/SF from Cleveland State and Steve Castleberry, 6'11" Post player from Rider college in Philadelphia.

Coach Newell will be the first NBA coach to ever be a Head Coach of a Chinese Basketball Association team. Previously, Newell was an Assistant Coach for the Seattle Supersonics, Director of Player Personnel for the Indiana Pacers, and Scout for the Golden State Warriors. He also was an Assistant Coach for the WNBA's Portland Fire.

There are 16 teams in the Chinese League, which has partnered with the NBA to do the marketing and public relations. provides resources for coaches, parents, and athletes participating in kids sports. FamilySportsLifeToday organized the first televised basketball game with 11-foot hoops in June of this year, kicking off a national discussion on the state of professional basketball.

And here is Newell's blog with some interesting insights into life in China.

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