NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans have added a recent Naismith Hall of Famer to its coaching staff.
The franchise announced on Thursday that the team had hired Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters legend and multiple Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon and AJ Diggs as two-way player development coaches. The Pelicans announced that Weatherspoon and Diggs will work closely with the team’s two-way players and will accompany these players to and from their transfers to the Pelicans’ G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.
“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”
Weatherspoon arrives in New Orleans after serving as the Director of Player and Franchise Development with the WNBA’s New York Liberty for the previous four seasons. Prior to her time in the Liberty front office, Weatherspoon served as head coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech (2009-14).
In her six seasons at the helm, Weatherspoon led the Lady Techsters to a 99-71 (.582) record, making consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament in 2010 and 2011, and winning the WAC tournament in 2010.
Weatherspoon was a standout player for Louisiana Tech from 1984-88 earning All-American honors twice and capped her collegiate career with the 1988 NCAA National Championship. Weatherspoon would also win the gold medal at the 1986 FIBA World Cup, a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
After college Weatherspoon would go on to have a 16-year playing career playing initially overseas (Italy, France, Russia) and then in the WNBA for the New York Liberty (1997-2003) and Los Angeles Sparks (2004). Weatherspoon was twice named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (1997, 1998), earned four consecutive All-WNBA Second Team nods from 1997-2000 and five straight All-Star appearances from 1999-2003.
Weatherspoon was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts earlier this month.
Diggs meanwhile comes to New Orleans after coaching stints in the NBA G League with the Maine Red Claws, Austin Spurs and the Raptors 905, where he was a member of Jerry Stackhouse’s staff that captured the 2017 NBA G League Championship.
Diggs was a four-year letter-winner at the University of California-Berkeley, played briefly in the NBA G League, before returning to school and earning his MBA from Loyola Marymount. After graduation, Diggs worked as a coach and in the recreation field in California, helping found Elite Skills Academy and serving as the director of basketball operations for Athlete’s Performance.