Raptors 905 coach trades aerospace studies for NBA G League

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Eric Khoury needs you to know his past love is basketball.  He performed the sport in highschool and in college.  He grew up in Toronto as an enormous fan of the Raptors. 

But the exceptional story of how the 33-year-old wound up being named the youngest-ever head coach of the Raptors farm workforce is one he will get requested about so much.  After all, at school his focus was all the time on math, science and engineering. 

“The biggest question is: why are you in basketball?” says Khoury with a smile. 

The head coach of the Raptors 905, a workforce within the NBA’s G League, has a bachelor’s diploma in aerospace engineering and a masters of utilized science from the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies, the place he studied experimental fluid dynamics.  Not your typical background for somebody who finally wound up with an NBA championship ring.

“I’m definitely a curious guy.  So if there’s something out there, I want to understand how it works,” says Khoury, who’s now engaged on constructing a successful workforce.

A decade in the past Khoury was ending up his grasp’s program the place he’d been monitoring particles transferring in a water channel when he observed an article about how the NBA was experimenting with participant monitoring expertise across the league.

“I saw the similarities between particle tracking and playing tracking.  Obviously they are very different in terms of applications, but very similar in terms of technology.”

Khoury, who lengthy thought an engineering diploma would hold a number of doorways open, determined he’d attain out to the Raptors group by way of Twitter to see if he may assist. 

 “Tweets turned to emails, emails turned to coffee and coffee turned to an internship,” says Khoury, who was finally named the Raptors’ director of analytics.

Khoury says he’s all the time been drawn to workforce sports activities and about 5 years in the past started transitioning to the teaching aspect of issues. As he bought higher he was named an assistant coach and even helped the Raptors win their first ever NBA championship.

His begin in analytics has drawn comparisons to the hit film ‘Moneyball,’ about how baseball’s Oakland Athletics famously turned to massive knowledge to assist subject a aggressive team– a film Khoury has by no means really watched.

“I haven’t seen it. I should check it out,” he says.

After being named head coach of the 905 this previous summer time, Khoury attended a press convention the place he was requested about his engineering background and the way it would possibly apply to basketball.  

He made a reference to Sir Isaac Newton and first rules, which was seemingly a primary for a media availability with a basketball coach. 

“The second that came out of my mouth I knew there was going to be a headline that’s for sure.”

Khoury says analytics have gotten a focus in lots of sports activities and groups are all the time looking for an edge.  He hopes others shall be impressed by his story to pursue their desires if additionally they love sports activities.  

“There’s so many different paths to get into it, which is great.  So if you’re someone like myself who is really focused on math and science that’s not going to close the door.”

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