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NAZ Suns Announce 2018-19 Coaching Staff

By Jacob Withee | October 19, 2018

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns announced today their coaching staff for their third season in the NBA G League.

Bret Burchard will lead the NAZ Suns as head coach in his return to Prescott Valley. The 32-year-old was a NAZ Suns assistant coach in 2016-17, then was promoted to associate head coach heading into the 2017-18 campaign before being called up by the Phoenix Suns to be a player development assistant. This will be Burchard’s first year as a head coach in the NBA G League as he becomes the third head coach in Northern Arizona Suns history (Ty Ellis, Cody Toppert).

Joining Burchard are James Andrisevic, Damany Hendrix and Perry Huang, who will be assistant coaches. Michelle Ruan will serve as head athletic trainer and Jonathan Mak returns to the staff as head strength and conditioning coach.

Andrisevic, 36, spent last year as the head coach of the Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan’s professional basketball league, the B. League. He returns to the NBA G League, where he most recently was the associate head coach for the Santa Cruz Warriors under current Los Angeles Clippers’ assistant coach, Casey Hill. Andrisevic worked three years with the Warriors, his first two as an assistant coach. The Warriors were league champions under Hill and Andrisevic in 2014-15 after going 35-15 in the regular season, the best mark in the Western Conference. Before landing in Santa Cruz, Andrisevic served as head coach of BC Prievidza in Slovakia and of Asker BC in Norway’s top basketball league.

The Lee’s Summit, Missouri, native is no stranger to the area, as he was a forward for Arizona State’s men’s basketball team from 2003-05. He began his collegiate career at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, before transferring to ASU. Andrisevic played professionally in England, Denmark and Germany.

Hendrix, 38, will spend his second consecutive season as an assistant coach in the NBA G League, this year with the NAZ Suns. He was an assistant coach on Jerry Stackhouse’s staff with the Raptors 905 last season. His team went 31-19 and made its second straight trip to the NBA G League Finals, this time losing the series to the Austin Spurs. Before beginning his professional basketball coaching career, Hendrix spent many years coaching at the prep level, most recently as the head coach at Justin-Siena High School in Napa, California, from 2015-17.

Hendrix is a Vallejo, California, native, who played collegiately at Gonzaga, Santa Rosa Junior College and Lamar University.

Huang, 31, joins the NAZ Suns after just winning the WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm. He was the Storm’s video coordinator, and in his first year with the team, he helped the squad go from the eighth seed at 15-19 in 2017 to the first seed in 2018 at 26-8. Huang makes his way back to the NBA G League, as he was a coaching associate for the Santa Cruz Warriors during the 2015-16 season, working with Andrisevic. Huang has also spent several years coaching collegiately, including three as an assistant coach at Monterey Peninsula College (2012-15).

Huang played four years at Fresno Pacific University. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was raised in Monterey, California.

Ruan enters her third season with the Northern Arizona Suns, her first as the head athletic trainer. She was the assistant athletic trainer for the team the last two years. The 27-year-old earned her Master’s degree in athletic training at California Baptist University in Riverside, California. Ruan, a Chicago native, earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.

Mak returns to the NAZ Suns following a year hiatus. He was the head athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach for the Suns during their inaugural season (2016-17) and for the Bakersfield Jam in 2015-16. He was the assistant athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach for the Jam for two years before that (2013-15). Mak has been working in the WNBA the last two seasons, as the 28-year-old has served as the Phoenix Mercury’s strength and conditioning coach. During the Mercury’s offseason last year, he went to Russia to work as the head athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach for UMMC Ekaterinburg, a top-ranked women’s basketball team in the EuroLeague. Mak, also a Chicago native, finished his studies at Illinois State before starting work with the Jam.

The Northern Arizona Suns begin their third season in the NBA G League on Nov. 3 against the Santa Cruz Warriors at the Prescott Valley Event Center. Single-game tickets start at just $10 apiece, with plenty of other discounted pricing options, including the team’s 4 on the Floor package, Flex Plan, Group Experience packages, or season ticket memberships. More information about all of the NAZ Suns ticket options can be found at www.nazsuns.com/tickets, emailing sales@nazsuns.com, or calling 928-772-SUNS.

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