The New York Liberty has added Jacki Gemelos as an Assistant Coach to Walt Hopkins’ coaching staff, the team announced today. Gemelos played for the Chicago Sky in 2015 and split time between the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun in 2020.
“We couldn’t be more excited for Jacki to join us in Brooklyn for our inaugural season at Barclays Center,” said Coach Hopkins. “In addition to being a wonderful person with extensive playing experience and a high basketball IQ, Jacki’s perseverance in the face of countless setbacks throughout her career makes her a perfect model of the growth-minded, relentless, mentally tough ideals upon which our Liberty culture is being built. We’re lucky to have her with us.”
The 32-year old Gemelos was drafted in 2012 by the Minnesota Lynx. After struggling through five ACL tears and eight knee surgeries over the course of her career, Gemelos was only able to play in 2015 and 2020. Gemelos played 35 games in her WNBA career, averaging 1.9 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. She has also played six seasons overseas, and was a member of Greece’s National Women’s Basketball Team.
During media availability with the Liberty, Coach Hopkins said “One of the things that attracted me most to calling Jacki was the idea that she personifies everything that we’re about: the toughness, the grit. She’s a really unselfish hardworking person.”
Asia Taylor added that “This is the first time we’ve had a one-on-one conversation. Amazing person… we just vibed for sure. She’s a player’s coach, because she literally just finished playing… just her IQ. She’s gonna help us a lot.”
Gemelos joins a coaching staff with Shelley Patterson and Dustin Gray, who are returning for their second season with the Liberty. Patterson has spent 20 years as an assistant coach in the WNBA. Gray is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine who has worked with elite college athletes preparing for the NBA Draft.
The Gemelos hiring comes as the WNBA begins training camp for the 2021 season. Gemelos will bring her experience playing in the league to the Liberty coaching staff, which did not have any former WNBA players on staff.
For more WNBA coverage from Venus Sports, click here.
Image Credit: Gemelos’ Twitter