Former Hall of Famer, and Oregon State alum, Gary Payton has agreed to a multi-year deal to become the head coach of the newly established basketball program at Lincoln University in Payton’s hometown of Oakland according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) June 4, 2021
Payton’s only formal coaching experience is in the Big3 league but with 17 years of high-level NBA basketball under his belt, Payton is ready to move into full-time coaching 14 years after his NBA retirement.
“It’s a startup program and a private independent school where I can establish what I want to establish,” Payton told The Undefeated.
The Lincoln basketball program will have its inaugural season next year with Payton at the helm and while the Oakland-based school hovers at just 500 students, Payton hopes to schedule primarily Division I schools.
Location played a major factor for the legendary Seattle Supersonic guard:
“And the reason I took it is because it’s in Oakland, California.”
“Everybody knows we losing all kinds of sports here,” Payton said. “We lost the [Las Vegas] Raiders, the [Oakland] A’s want to leave because we’re not giving them an arena. The [Golden State] Warriors have left. So, we need something to spunk these people, these fans, back up, said Payton.”
Payton stated he wants Lincoln University basketball to play as he did: tough, gritty, and defensively stout.
According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated:
“Lincoln University athletic director and head football coach Desmond Gumbs said he began talking to Payton about the basketball opening last November. He added that two Division I schools, including one from the Pac-12 Conference, are already planned for the men’s basketball schedule this coming season.”
Payton starred for Skyline High School in Oakland before heading north to Oregon State but the hall of fame guard will look to bring the shine back to his hometown with Lincoln University.