Rod Strickland has been named the latest head coach of the LIU men’s basketball program after the program fired former head coach Derek Kellogg.

Rod Strickland officially named the head coach at LIU in Brooklyn. He had been director of the G League Ignite.

— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) June 30, 2022

Strickland grew up in the Bronx, eventually getting drafted by the Knicks in the first round of the 1998 first-round pick after three seasons at DePaul. He previously worked as an assistant at South Florida before becoming a key figure in developing and launching the G League Ignite program over the last three years.

“Rod Strickland has a demonstrated eye for recruiting and developing student-athletes, and we are confident he will elevate Long Island University’s winning tradition to even greater heights,” Long Island University President Kimberly R. Cline said Thursday in a statement announcing the hire. 

“Rod has done a tremendous job as program director for NBA G League Ignite, from leading our recruiting efforts to aiding in the development of our young players, including six NBA Draft picks in the last two seasons,” Shareef Abdur-Rahim, President of the NBA G League, added. “We wish him the best with Long Island University. LIU is getting an amazing person and great basketball man.”

LIU is coming off a third-place finish in the Northeast Conference, and he inherits a program that hasn’t finished worse than .500 in conference play since Kellogg, 74-74(49-41 NEC) took over in 2017. Kellogg led the Sharks to one NCAA tournament appearance in 2018.

Strickland will bring a player’s perspective and an NBA point guard’s basketball IG to a program that could be on the rise as LIU’s profile grows with a former NBA player’s presence at the helm of its program. Strickland’s G League Ignite program has been an alternative for top high school players to pursue an immediate pro-style development and career instead of going to college.

“Developing young players on and off the court has always aligned with my passion while I was playing and after retiring from the NBA,” Strickland said. “I am appreciative to Long Island University for the opportunity to become a head coach at home, in New York City. The Sharks are going to be a competing program for top athletes who not only want to take their game to the next level but prepare for success.”

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