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Wizards’ John Wall praises the late Don Newman

John Wall, Don Newman

Washington Wizards guard John Wall praised former assistant coach Don Newman after he passed on Wednesday. Newman served as an assistant coach for the Wizards from 2012 to 2016. He lost his battle to cancer at the age of 60.

“He was one of the great people I’ve been around,” John Wall told NBC Sports Washington. “Just the culture he brought from the [San Antonio] Spurs system to our team and the confidence he had in and the ability he believed in me.”

After playing one year of college ball at LSU, Newman bounced around schools for a few years. He attended Lake City Community College and Grambling State before ultimately being named to the all-conference team at the University of Idaho. He went on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics with the No. 69 overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft. Newman played college baseball and even tried his hand in professional football before beginning his NBA coaching career.

Newman spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA. He spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks, the then-New Jersey Nets, and the San Antonio Spurs. He was a part of NBA championship teams in 2005 and 2007 with San Antonio.

Washington was his final destination before he retired from coaching in the NBA. In his four seasons with the Wizards, they made it to the second round of the playoffs twice. The Wizards also issued a statement about his passing:

Newman will be missed by friends, family, coaches,and former players. He left a lasting impression on all the people around him that won’t soon be forgotten.