LIKE most great point guards, Tyrone ‘Muggsy’ Bogues also went to coaching at the end of a successful basketball career and he finds joy in imparting his knowledge to a high school team back in North Carolina.
Bogues, the smallest player ever to have played in the NBA at 5-foot-3, is currently the head coach of the United Faith Christian Academy, a Christian school in Charlotte.
“We were 20-5 (win-loss) last year,” said Bogues of his team. “We have great, talented players.”
Bogues is currently in the country to do what he does best - teaching the game to kids in the Jr. NBA National Training Camp at the University of the Philippines gym and the SM Mall of Asia Entertainment Center set this weekend.
Now 48, Bogues had a fruitful 14-year NBA career with stops with the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Bullets, Toronto Raptors, and the Golden State Warriors.
But the playmaker out of Wake Forest became a popular figure following his 10 stellar seasons with the Hornets, playing alongside Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson and reaching the second round of the 1993 NBA playoffs by beating the Boston Celtics.
Selected 12th overall during the 1987 draft by the Bullets, Bogues ended his career with the Raptors in 2001 but retired as the Hornets' career leader in minutes played (19,768), assists (5,557), and steals (1,067).
He now finds a new calling in coaching aside from being a goodwill ambassador of the NBA.
Bogues said it has always been a fruitful experience teaching kids not just to play the game but also to have a well-rounded life in school.
“It’s fulfilling. I get a chance to mentor young kids, giving them information and understanding what a student-athlete is all about, having the balance so that they can be equipped when they go to college,” said Bogues, who already had former players joining top collegiate basketball programs in the NCAA.
An active and tenacious point guard during his prime to make up for his lack of height, Bogues said his teams play a run-and-gun style of play.
“We got to be up-and-down. I don’t want to walk up the floor. I like putting pressure on guards, let them earn it to cross halfcourt. Put pressure and make them beat you. Once we get the rebound, we are gone,” said Bogues.
The former NBA star considers his coach at Dunbar High School, Bob Wade, as his biggest influence.
“I always go back to my high school. He is a very influential coach in my life, and he knew the game,” said Bogues, who also cited former coaches Butch Carter in Toronto and Allan Bristow in Charlotte.
“(Carter) was a great X and O guy. He understood how to get guys open and get them shots. They were not my mentors but I took a piece of each,” Bogues said.
As to coaching in the NBA, Bogues definitely sees himself going that route in the future.
“I see myself coaching the NBA. That’s a route that I almost went to two years ago. But we will see what happens,” he said.