RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On the basketball court, Duke’s Amile Jefferson was known for his smarts. Now he’ll get the chance to put his playing days basketball smarts to work after being elevated to full time assistant coach.
“For it to come full-circle now, it’s not even done now,” said Jefferson. “I’m back home.”
It’s like he never left. A year ago Jefferson was the Devils director of player development, now he will be on the Duke bench on game days sitting along side first year head coach Jon Scheyer.
The fire Jefferson brought on the court will now eminate from the bench.
“I’m already a pretty loud guy,” laughed Jefferson. “It’s going to be natural and I’m really glad that I got this past year (coaching with Duke) to kind of find that voice and be confident in doing that.”
The Duke bench will certainly look different next season. For the first time in more than four decades, Mike Krzyzewski will not patrol the Devils sidelines. Scheyer is now in command and his first big move was to elevate Jefferson to full time assistant.
“There’s really not a better person you can work with in the country than him,” gushed Duke head basketball coach Jon Scheyer. “He’s done it and also he can teach it and I think there’s great value from my perspective with that.”
Jefferson is just a few years removed from his playing days after professional stints in the G League, NBA and overseas. At 29 years of age, Jefferson is young enough to relate to the players he will now teach and lead.
“To be a good teacher you have to be a great learner,” Jefferson explained. “I’ve learned a ton and I’m excited to kind of share my wisdom, my words, everything I have with all the guys.”
And he’ll do it at a place he’s come to love.
“Yeh, it was home,” Jefferson opined. “To pivot a little earlier than I thought, yeh, but I’m glad I did.”