SHS Alumna Makes NBA History

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SHS Alumna Makes NBA History

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Katya Drohan

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The Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA recently announced that they hired SHS alumnus Lindsay Gottlieb as one of their assistant coaches for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. Growing up in Scarsdale, Gottlieb started playing organized basketball when she was in the 4th grade and fell in love with the game ever since.

Gottlieb graduated from SHS in 1995, and after a senior season of sitting on the bench due to an ACL injury, was unsure of her future in the sport. Gottlieb went on to play college basketball for Brown University from 1995 until 1999. It wasn’t until her sophomore year though, after she spent a semester abroad in Australia, that Gottlieb decided that she wanted to venture into coaching. From there, Gottlieb acted as both a player and student assistant for the Brown Bears during her senior collegiate season.  

Courtesy of Scarsdale High School (Gottlieb during her junior season in 1994)

From her experience as a player-assistant, Gottlieb was hired by Syracuse University as an assistant coach the day after she graduated from Brown. She spent two seasons with Syracuse until she was hired to the University of New Hampshire in 2001. A year later, at only 24 years old, Gottlieb was asked to be the top coaching assistant at the University of Richmond, where she stayed for three seasons.

In 2006, Gottlieb was hired by the University of California, Berkeley to be on their recruiting team. She worked there until 2008, when UC Santa Barbara hired her as a head coach. Her first season as a head coach was nothing but successful, for she won the 2008-2009 Big West Coach of the Year.

In 2011, Coach Gottlieb returned to UCB, but this time as head coach. Through her time at UCB, Gottlieb led the Golden Bears to seven NCAA Tournaments, appearing in the Final Four once. Many players that were coached under her also went on to be drafted into the WNBA. In her career coaching the Golden Bears, Coach Gottlieb had a 179-89 record in her eight years as head coach.

Her hard work at UCB caught the eye of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach John Beilein at the end of the 2018-2019 season. He hired Gottlieb to a four-year contract as an assistant coach, making her the first women’s collegiate coach to be hired by the NBA. From this, Gottlieb is paving the way for women in sports.

For many NBA fans and players, they are just being introduced to Coach Gottlieb, but her work on the court doesn’t go unnoticed by other NBA veterans. Steve Kerr, an eight time NBA championship winner and current coach of the Golden State Warriors, praised the Cavaliers for hiring Gottlieb. “What a great opportunity and a great hire by the Cavaliers. (Gottlieb) is a great person and a hell of a coach,” said Kerr. The Cavs are hoping Gottlieb can help them win their second NBA championship, and from the belief of many, as well as her skill and experience, that is definitely a possibility.