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Erik Spoelstra: Youngest head-coach in the NBA, first ever-Asian American and definitely a proud FILIPINO ACHIEVER.
Every Filipino basketball enthusiast dreams of making it to the worlds best basketball league, the NBA…. and one day one dreamer had his dreams fulfilled.
His name is Erik Spoelstra, and he’s the new Head Coach of the Miami Heat.
Erik is a “Dutch-Irish-Filipino” born on Nov. 1, 1970 to Jon Spoelstra (a long-time NBA executive who has helped the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets in his career – father),and his mother Elisa Celino (a Filipina from San Pablo, Laguna).
At 38, Erik became the youngest NBA’s coach (exactly 69 days younger than New jersey coach Lawrence Frank). But being young doesn’t make him new to the game of basketball. He’s played and lived with the game all his life.I guess that’s what happens if your a dad’s an NBA executive.
Spoelstra had his share of playing days when he became a player for the Jesuit High School (Portland, Oregon) where he was 3rd all-time in assists (488), 3rd in three-pointers made (156) and 6th in both three-point percentage (.384) and free throw percentage (.824).
At college, he played as the Pilots’ (University of Portland) starting point guard for 4 years and averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game, and was named the West Coast Conference.Freshman of the Year.
He also became a member of Portland’s 1,000-point club.After graduation from college, he spent two years as a playing coach for TuS Herten (later the called the Herten Ruhr Devils), a German professional team.
And just so you’ll know, he was also once very close to playing in the Philippine Basketball Association after he graduated college. Now he’s a Famous Filipino as a professional.
Spoelstra started his career with the Miami HEAT as the team’s Video Coordinator in charge of preparing scouting tapes for the team in 1995, the same year when he was cited by Sports Illustrated (May 30, 2005) for honing star guard Dwyane Wade’s “shooting balance” and smoothing out his release after the Flash’s return from the Athens Olympics.
Two years later he was named Assistant Coach/Video Coordinator, then promoted to Assistant Coach/Advance Scout in 1999. He became the Assistant Coach/Director of Scouting in 2001.On April of 2008, Erik Spoelstra (known to the players as “Coach Spo”) was then named successor to Pat Riley as head coach of the Miami Heat.
One Filipino. One Dream. One Inspiration. Proud Filipino Achiever Erik Spoelstra.