Keith Vassell

Keith Christophe Vassell (born 28 July 1971) is a Canadian-Icelandic basketball coach and a former member of the Canadian national basketball team. He played seven seasons in the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild karla, winning the national championship in 2000 with KR and the Icelandic Cup in 2007 with Íþróttafélag Reykjavíkur.

Keith Vassell
Personal information
Born (1971-07-28) July 28, 1971
Canada
NationalityCanadian / Icelandic
Listed height195 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Listed weight102 kg (225 lb)
Career information
High schoolMother Teresa Catholic
(Scarborough, Ontario)
CollegeBrandon (1991–1996)
Playing career1996–2007
PositionForward
Number4, 5, 10, 12
Coaching career1998–present
Career history
As player:
1996-1997Viña Costeira Verín
1997–1998Winnipeg Cyclone
1998–2002KR
2002–2003Hamar
2003KTP Basket
2004Porvoon Tarmo
2004Benetton Fribourg Olympic
2004JSF Nanterre
2004–2005Jämtland Basket
2005C.F. Os Belenenses
2005–2006Union Neuchâtel
2006Fjölnir
2007ÍR
As coach:
1998–1999KR (men's)
2001–2002KR (women's)
2006Fjölnir
2008–2010Brandon University
2014–2017Niagara College
2017Niagara River Lions
2017–2018London Lightning
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Playing career

College career

Vassell played college basketball for Brandon University. Over his college career he was a CIS Player of The Year (1995), CIS Rookie of the Year(1991), Three times CIS All-Canadian (1993-1996), 5 time GPAC conference 1st Team All-Star (1991-96). In 1996, he led the school to the CIS championship and was named as the tournament MVP.[1]

Club career

After spending his first professional season in Spain with Viña Costeira, Vassell signed with KR of the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild karla in January 1998.[2][3] He spent four and a half seasons with the club, winning the national championship inn 2000.[4]

He joined Hamar in the Úrvalsdeild in December 2003.[5] During the season, he was granted Icelandic citizenship.[6]

He split the 2003–2004 season with KTP Basket and Porvoon Tarmo in the Korisliiga, averaging 14.9 points in 31 games.[7][8] In November 2005, he signed with Jämtland Basket of the Swedish Basketligan.[9] After Jämtland was knocked out in the playoffs[10], Vassell signed with C.F. Os Belenenses in the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol.[7] He spent the 2005–2006 season with Union Neuchâtel in the SB League, averaging 13.6 points in 22 games.[7]

In 2006, Vassell returned to Iceland and signed as a player-coach for Fjölnir.[7] He was fired midseason but signed with ÍR to finish out the season as a player. In February 2007, he helped ÍR to the Icelandic Cup finals[11] where they beat Hamar/Selfoss 83-81.[12] In 10 regular season games for ÍR, Vassell averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds but upped those averages to 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the playoffs.[13]

National team career

Vassell played for 11 years for the Canadian national basketball teams.[1]

Coaching career

Vassell's first coaching stint was with KR men's team in 1998–1999. He coached KR women's team for the 2001–2002 season, winning both the Icelandic championship and the Icelandic Cup.[14] In 2006 he was hired as the head coach of Fjölnir.[7] In December that year, he was fired and replaced by Bárður Eyþórsson.[15]

Vassell's next coaching job was to coach at his alma mater, Brandon University, from 2008 to 2010, winning the GPAC division and getting to Canada West Final Four. They also won the Wesman Classic at Christmas time.

Vassell served as the head coach of Niagara College Knights men's basketball team from 2014 to 2017, amassing a 34–19 record and back-to-back fourth-place finishes at the OCAA Championship.[16][17]

On March 11, 2017, the Niagara River Lions' head coach Grâce Lokole stepped down from his position and became the assistant coach. The team named Vassell as the interim head coach to finish the season.[18]

In August 2017, Vassell was hired as the head coach of London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada.[17] In 2018, he guided the Lightning to the NBL championship.[19] After a 4–4 start the 2018–19 NBL Canada season, the Lightning fired Vassell.[20]

References

  1. "Coaching staff". lightningbasketball.ca. London Lightning. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  2. "Leist ekki á fyrstu Íslandskynninguna". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 29 April 2000. pp. C1, C4. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  3. "Kanadamaður til KR í stað Smiths". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 7 January 1998. p. C1. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. "Þeir eru KR ...og bera höfuð hátt". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 26 April 2000. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  5. "Ótrúleg vinnubrögð". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 23 December 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  6. "Alla, Garcia og Vassell fá ríkisborgararétt". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 13 March 2003. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  7. "Vassell tekur við Fjölni". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 19 May 2006. p. C1. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  8. "Vassell rekinn en ráðinn aftur". Fréttablaðið (in Icelandic). 12 January 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  9. "Keith Vassell hittir fyrir Hildi". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). 5 November 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  10. "Keith Vassell og félagar duttu út í oddaleik". kr.is (in Icelandic). 15 March 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  11. Óskar Ófeigur Jónsson (17 February 2007). "Sérréttindi að fá að spila leikinn". Fréttablaðið (in Icelandic). Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  12. Sigurður Elvar Þórólfsson (19 February 2017). "Aldarafmælið byrjar vel". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). p. B5. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  13. "Vassell ekki áfram hjá ÍR". Fréttablaðið (in Icelandic). 7 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  14. Stefán Stefánsson (16 April 2002). "KR-stúlkur bættu við bikarasafnið". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  15. "Mikilvægur sigur Fjölnis á útivelli gegn Grindavík". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 6 January 2007. p. C3. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  16. "Knights head coach Keith Vassell named head coach of the NBL's London Lightning". goknights.ca. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  17. Morris Dalla Costa (24 August 2017). "London Lightning's new coach Keith Vassell savours chance to coach pros again". The London Free Press. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  18. "Keith Vassell taking over NBL Canada team on interim basis". stcatharinesstandard.ca. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  19. Christian D’Avino (22 May 2018). "Back-to-back NBL champs London Lightning host end-of-year open house". Global News. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  20. "Lightning dump coach Vassell after lack-lustre start". The London Free Press. 11 December 2018.

External sites

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