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Former UNI player Nick Nurse becoming Toronto Raptors' head coach

Iowa native takes over 59-win team

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)
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Former Northern Iowa basketball player Nick Nurse is going to be the new head coach of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski.

Nurse played at UNI from 1985 to 1989, appearing in 111 games. He is the school’s all-time 3-point percentage leader with .468 (170 of 363).

Nurse, 50, is from Carroll, Iowa. His path to an NBA head coaching job is unconventional, to say the least. He was a student assistant at UNI for one year, was head coach at Grand View, then coached for 12 seasons in the British Basketball League.

In 2007, he became the head coach of the Iowa Energy in the then-NBA D-League, and was a coach in that league until 2013 when he became a Raptors assistant.

Nurse takes over a team that had an Eastern Conference-best 59 wins in the season just ended. Toronto fired coach Dwane Casey last month, after Toronto was swept in a four-game Eastern semifinal series by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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