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Men's Basketball Hires Derrick Phelps as Assistant Coach

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 06/09/2014
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NEW YORK – Columbia men’s basketball head coach Kyle Smith has added Derrick Phelps to his staff. Phelps, the starting point guard on North Carolina’s 1993 National Championship squad, joins the Lions after spending three years as an assistant coach at Monmouth.

“We are very proud to have Derrick join our staff,” said Smith. “He brings a lifetime of basketball experiences that we are fortunate that he can share with us. We are truly lucky to have Derrick help us improve upon what has been built and help our program reach new heights.”

“Derrick will have an immediate impact on the floor working with our team defense and guard play,” Smith added. “He also gives us a strong recruiting presence in New York City, in the South and Europe.”

Phelps, a Queens, New York, native, joined the Hawks prior to the 2011-12 season after spending one year as a video coordinator at Fordham. While there, Phelps helped Monmouth transition from the Northeast Conference to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns.

Phelps is a graduate of Christ the King High School in Middle Village, Queens where he led the 1989 team to the New York State Championship and was named to the 1990 McDonald's All-American Team as a senior. Phelps was also named to the 1990 Kodak Metropolitan High School All-Star team.

During his time at Chapel Hill, Phelps played for Hall of Fame head coach Dean Smith from 1990-94, where he earned second team All-ACC honors as a senior in 1994 and honorable mention All-ACC accolades as a junior. Phelps was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in 1994 and was named to the USBWA All-District Team and the NABC All-District second team. Additionally, Phelps holds school records for most steals in a game (9) and career (247) and ranks fifth in school history with 637 assists.

Phelps was the first of only three North Carolina players to ever earn the team's most outstanding defensive player award (Carmicheal Cobb Award) three times (Brendan Haywood and Marcus Ginyard) and was tabbed the team MVP as a senior as well. He was also on the 1991 UNC team that won the ACC Championship and advanced to the Final Four. Phelps is currently the only player in ACC history with 600 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals.

Phelps began a long professional career with the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) Chicago Rockers in 1994. In the middle of his rookie season with the Rockers, he signed for the remainder of the season with the Sacramento Kings, and was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1995 expansion draft. He also spent time in the preseason with the Milwaukee Bucks (1994) and Philadelphia 76ers (1995).

The Queens, New York, native played professionally overseas for 12 more seasons, including stints in Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia and Romania before retiring after the 2009-10 season. From 2000-02, he played for Alba Berlin in the Euroleague where he was selected as the league MVP in 2001.

In 2007, Phelps started his coaching career by serving as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Christ the King, and was a player-coach with Clubul Sportiv "Gaz Metan" Medias in Romania.

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