Jimmy Alapag is set to join the Sacramento Kings as an assistant for the 2019 Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada. The San Miguel Alab Pilipinas head coach in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) and the San Miguel Beermen assistant coach in the Philippine Basketball Association is eager to learn from some of the best basketball minds in the world when he joins the Kings.
Little did Alapg know, keeping in touch with an old friend would enable him to advance his young coaching career.
"I stayed in touch with Vlade Divac who is the Chairman of the FIBA Players' Commission, where I've been a member of for the past four years," said Alapag. "After our campaign ended in the ABL, I got to talk to him again. I told him I needed to learn more about coaching because I've only been a head coach for two years and he brought up the idea that I should come in and learn from the Sacramento Kings where he is also the general manager."
According to Alapag, it was an easy decision to make when Divac made the invitation.
"I cherish the opportunity to continue my education in coaching," Alapag said. "I've been blessed to have worked with a lot of great coaches in the PBA and with Gilas Pilipinas and I'm excited to learn more from the coaches in the NBA."
All 30 teams will compete in the 15th NBA Summer League, which will be held from July 5 to 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Las Vegas. All teams will play four preliminary games each.The top eight are then seeded in the knockout tournament with a champion being crowned on July 15.
The top selections from the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, scheduled for June 20 at the Barclays Center, are expected to perform in the Summer League. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, and Russel Westbrook all played in the Summer League before their rookie years while Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard, and John Wall are all former Summer League Most Valuable Players.
Alapag is set to leave on June 26 to join the Kings' training camp in Sacramento before heading to Las Vegas.
"Being near the Bay Area, there will be a lot of Filipino fans there so I'm also excited to see some of our kababayans there as well," said Alapag. "But more than that, I'm eager to learn and then get to share and pass on the knowledge I get from there to the players and coaches I work with back home."