Golden State Warriors assistant coach Chris DeMarco said he has agreed in principle to become the head coach of the Bahamas Basketball Federation's senior men's national team.
The Bahamas did not qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan. But Bahamas does has some young talent to keep an eye on for the future, led by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. DeMarco plans to lead a minicamp for Team Bahamas in Nassau in early August.
"There is a lot of potential for growth. It's crazy the talent they have with only 400,000 (people)," DeMarco told The Undefeated. "It's a tremendous opportunity."
DeMarco has been with the Warriors for seven seasons, serving as an assistant coach, player development coach and team advance and video scout. The Warriors have won three NBA championships and played in five Finals during that span. The former Dominican University (California) forward served as an assistant coach for the Bahamas previously. Norris Bain will coach the Bahamian team when DeMarco has Warriors commitments.
Former Bahamian basketball star Mychal Thompson, a former NBA center whose son Klay Thompson stars for the Warriors, was happy with the hiring of DeMarco.
"It's great for the Bahamas getting a coach with championship experience at the highest level of basketball," Thompson told The Undefeated. "He will bring a winning mentality and a great organizer."
While Klay Thompson and Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon have Bahamian family ties, neither is eligible to play since they have experience playing with USA Basketball. Former NBA forward Mychel Thompson, also one of Mychal Thompson's sons, is expected to attend Bahamas minicamp in August, DeMarco said. Hield is hopeful to attend as well. DeMarco hopes to talk to Ayton soon about attending. Other notable Bahamian basketball players include former Michigan State guard Tum Tum Nairn, Texas freshman center Kai Jones, Ole Miss redshirt freshman guard Franco Miller Jr., and Ole Miss freshman forward Sammy Hunter.
"There is a ton of talent in the Bahamas," DeMarco said. "We will run camps in the summer and try to implement a system not only for the senior players, but for the youth as well so when we get to the second- and third-tier level of players."