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Abney named head coach of Rattlers

Saskatchewan Rattlers Saskatchewan Rattlers celebrate - CEBL

Saskatoon, Sask. - The Saskatchewan Rattlers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) announced Thursday that Larry Abney has been named as the fourth head coach in franchise history. Under Abney’s leadership, the Rattlers look to return to Championship Weekend.

Abney is the current associate head coach with the Ontario Clippers of the NBA G League, affiliate of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. His resume includes 13 years as a professional basketball player (2000-12) and a six-year stint as Player Development Coach for the Los Angeles Clippers (2017-22). 

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and thrilled to bring my passion for coaching to the CEBL and Saskatchewan Rattlers,” said Abney. “I look forward to making a positive impact on the community and bringing a brand of basketball the fans of Saskatchewan can be excited about.”

In addition to Abney’s player development role with the Clippers, he served as the club’s Basketball Operations Assistant, and as Associate Head Coach of the Agua Caliente Clippers (now Ontario Clippers, NBA G League). The Nyack, New York native has worked alongside NBA head coaches Doc Rivers and Tyronn Lue, and numerous NBA all-stars, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and D’Andre Jordan. Since working with the Los Angeles Clippers, they have a regular season record of 307-217 (.585) and are currently third place in the NBA’s Western Conference.

Abney began working with the Agua Caliente Clippers during their inaugural season in 2017. The Ontario Clippers all-time franchise record is 124-120 (.508). In 2021-22, they finished second in the Western Conference with a berth in the Western Conference Final. During the 2022-23 season, they won the NBA G League Winter Showcase Cup. Abney is currently coaching CEBL-legend Xavier Moon, and 2020 Rattlers signing Armoni Brooks.

During his 12-year professional career, Abney played in the NBA Summer League, NBA G League, and 12 countries overseas. He was named Dutch Basketball League All-Star (2009), All-NBL Second Team (2007), All-NBL First Team (2006), USBL All-Rookie Team (2000), and won the Dutch Cup with EiffelTowers Den Bosch in 2009. Prior to his college career, Abney played one season with Fresno City College and three seasons with Fresno State in NCAA D1. Over three seasons with Fresno State, Abney averaged 7.3 points and 7.6 rebounds over 101 games. He currently holds the modern-day (post-1973) NCAA D1 single-game record of 35 rebounds.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to secure Larry as our Head Coach for the 2024 season. He came highly recommended for his expertise in working with players, his wide scope of experience, and his deep connections in the basketball world,” said General Manager and Vice-President of Basketball Operations, Barry Rawlyk. “When I flew down to interview him, beyond all of those things what struck me most was his character, charisma, energy, and how he was able to clearly articulate his plan of success for this upcoming season. He is an outstanding person and will be well-respected by the players, staff, media, and most importantly, our fans.”