University of Antelope Valley Hires Third BB Head Coach in Three Years

Posted: May 28, 2017 in AVC Men's BB 2017-18, NAIA

The University of Antelope Valley just announced their third head coach in three years. Will he be the one who stays?

Former NBA Star Darwin Cook Named Pioneers Men’s Basketball Head Coach.  Men’s Basketball – Fri, May 19, 2017

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Friday May 19, 2017

Lancaster, California – Today University of Antelope Valley President Marco Johnson announced the hiring of retired NBA Star Darwin Cook as the Men’s Basketball Head Coach. The Pioneers basketball team made its first CalPac post season tournament appearance in the school’s history last year and is laying the foundation for an even brighter future with the hiring of Cook as the head coach. "Adding coach Cook to our staff is a huge step in the right direction. Our goal at UAV is to produce quality young men and women, Darwin has clearly demonstrated that he possesses the qualities needed to accomplish both. Knowing what it takes to compete at the highest level both academically and athletically will be transferred to our basketball players daily. We expect to compete at a high level immediately" said President Johnson.

Darwin Cook, a Southern California native, had a legendary basketball career which began in Los Angeles as a prep star Crenshaw High School. Upon graduating from Crenshaw High School, Cook played collegiately at the University Of Portland where he was a four-year starter and earned many honors for his on-court performance (1977 & 1980 Team MVP, Portland’s Co-Athlete of the Year 1980, All-West Coast Conference Team 1979, 1980, Honorable Mention All-American)  while also graduating with his BS Degree in Secondary Education. Cook graduated from the University of Portland as the school’s all-time leader in assists, steals and points scored. In 1991 Cook was inducted into the University of Portland Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2013 he was inducted into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor.

Cook was drafted in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons and would go on to play eight seasons in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Washington Bullets, San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. During his six seasons with the Nets Cook became the franchise’s then all-time leader in steals (875) and was second in assist (1,970) in franchise history upon the completion of his NBA career. Playing with the Nets, Cook was a part of one of the biggest upsets in NBA Playoff history as the Nets defeated the defending NBA World Champion Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 1984 NBA Playoffs. Cook also played four years professionally on the international level in Italy for Scavolini where he won Italian League Championships in 1988 and 1990. Playing in 84 games for Scavolini, Cook scored 1646 points and became an international legend to the people that cheered him on during his career abroad.   Upon completion of his professional career he was an assistant coach at UNLV under the legendary Rollie Massimino where he coached 1993 All-American and 1993 NBA Lottery Pick Isaiah "J.R." Rider as well as being an assistant coach at Pepperdine University.

Cook’s experience of playing at the highest levels of basketball collegiately, professionally and internationally will provide the players the opportunity to gain an infinite amount of wisdom not only about basketball but about life. The fact that Cook has firm roots planted in the Antelope Valley makes his hiring that much more meaningful to the UAV Men’s Basketball Program. Cook has worked with the youth in this community in the school system as an Athletic Director at AV Christian School and also by serving as the director of the AV Champions youth program for boys and girls. Success on the basketball court and a continuing relationship with the community is what Cook is extremely passionate about. "I am very excited about being the new head coach of the men’s basketball program at UAV. I am looking forward to being a part of the success stories as we continue to reach our goal of the sports programs and to lead our young men that represent our university. Let’s Go Pioneers!"

For up-to-the-minute UAV sports news, download the UAV Pioneers app on Google Play or the iTunes store. Follow UAV Athletics on Facebook, @UAVAthletics on Twitter and @uav_athletics on Instagram. To register for UAV game alerts/scores click here.


David Jordan Jr
Sports Information Director
University of Antelope Valley

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