With a roster loaded of young players with less than two seasons as NBA professionals, the Kings plucked player development executive and noted sports psychologist Galen Duncan from the NFL's Detroit Lions to assist with the growth process of athletes in Sacramento.
General Manager Vlade Divac announced on Thursday that he had named Galen Duncan, who spent the last 10 seasons with the Lions, as the new Vice President of the Kings Academy and Professional Development. He will be responsible for implementing a program designed to assist the maturation process of the team's young athletes and turn them into well-rounded professionals.
"I have an understanding of what young people need to be in terms of good people and strong in their community," Duncan told ABC10. "I just hope to be a good piece to the puzzle and help this thing move forward, especially with these young guys and the veterans to help mentor them through the process, help them get settled. To (help them) take care of everything off the court so they can be successful on it."
During his time in Detroit, Duncan was the Senior Director of Player Development where he mentored athletes in areas of financial responsibility, counseling connections and building off-field career opportunities. A self-described "life coach", he's even taught players how to properly execute the tying a necktie.
"Anytime that a young guy get's it - (he) learns how to manage his finances, learns how to manage his family, learns how to say 'no' in certain situations, he can have a positive impact his community - those are my championships; those are my banners," Duncan said.
Duncan's opportunity with Sacramento came to light with the recent addition of Brandon D. Williams as one of the team's assistant general managers. Williams was hired last July following the loss of Scott Perry, who left the Kings after only a few months on the job as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, to take over as general manager of the New York Knicks.
"I've known Brandon Williams for probably 12 years," Duncan said. "We've talked throughout the years and the timing was just right. The Kings made it a very welcoming opportunity for me, they made it one that was really hard to turn down. I'm excited to work with and for him, it's a perfect situation in my eyes."
The Detroit native is also a retired United States Army Reserves officer who earned his Master's Degree in social work at Wayne University before earning a Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University.
Follow Sean Cunningham on Twitter: @SeanCunningham
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