LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Former University of Louisville great, Reece Gaines has returned to his college home to serve as an assistant coach at Bellarmine University.
Gaines was a star for the Cardinals from 2000 to 2003 when Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport was an assistant coach for Louisville. During his playing days, becoming a coach never crossed the Cards' star's mind.
"Not for one second did I think I would ever be a coach," said Gaines. "My life just took me that direction I think. I think the up's and down's I've been through in my career kind of made me want to be around young people and try to give my advice and my knowledge about what I know about the game and about life,"In college, Gaines made quite the impression on Davenport."
"We need more people like Reece Gaines, young people, in the game of basketball. Because he brings a tremendous work ethic in a way that's not done through short cuts. It's done through hard work academically and athletically," said Davenport.
Gaines' college rival, the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (Marquette University) once said Gaines was the toughest college basketball player he ever faced. Gaines was the 15th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He spent ten years playing professional basketball both in the NBA and in Europe. After retiring, Gaines wanted to come back to Louisville and start a new chapter in his life, and is thankful that his former college assistant gave him a shot.
"I'm lucky and blessed, and I want to thank him for giving me this opportunity," Gaines said of Davenport. As for what he expects from his new boss, Gaines joked, "I'm used to him yelling at me. I'm used to him telling me what to do. So, this is pretty much the same thing."