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Gonzaga Basketball

Former Gonzaga walk-on Connor Griffin joining Brooklyn Nets’ coaching staff

Former Zag Connor Griffin watches from the bench as Denver faced Milwaukee in an NBA Summer League game last July at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  (By Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Connor Griffin is adding another interesting chapter to his unique career path in the sports world.

Griffin, a Gonzaga walk-on in 2014-15 before walking on to the University of Washington football team, has landed an assistant coaching position with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Griffin has been with the Denver Nuggets for the past three years as a video coordinator while helping with scouting, player development and draft preparation. He was also an assistant coach on Denver’s Summer League team.

Griffin has connections with new Nets coach Jordi Fernandez, a Nuggets assistant from 2016-22 who spent the past two seasons as associate head coach with Sacramento. Fernandez, the first NBA head coach from Spain, coached Canada – and former GU standout Kelly Olynyk – last summer at the FIBA World Cup and brought Griffin on as video coordinator.

Fernandez was hired in April to replace Jacque Vaughn, who was let go during the All-Star break.

Griffin, as athletic 6-foot-4, 210-pound wing, was a popular walk-on at Gonzaga. He played 88 minutes in two seasons before joining UW’s football team as a tight end. He made his only career catch in the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Griffin joined the Huskies’ basketball squad, coached by Lorenzo Romar, as a practice player. He used his final season of eligibility at NAIA Vanguard (California) University and averaged 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds while earning All-Golden State Athletic Conference honors.

Griffin rejoined Romar at Pepperdine as a graduate assistant and video coordinator before being hired by the Nuggets, who won the NBA title last season.

“I’m with such a good organization and learning a lot from the players and the staff,” Griffin told The Spokesman-Review last May, just before Denver beat Miami 4-1 in the Finals. “If you told me I’d be a head coach down the road or even working in a front office, I’d be a very happy man.”