Brandon Roy returns to Rip City as 'Coach Roy'


A decade after earning Rookie of the Year honors in the association, knee injuries ravaged the rise of the all-star career for Brandon Roy.

After playing his last game in the league in 2013, "Roy Wonder" has wandered over to the bench as a first-year head coach of Nathan Hale High School in his native Seattle. And "The Natural" seems like a coaching natural.

Players play, coaches coach and that's the side of the game for the 32-year-old former NBA Rookie of the Year for the Trail Blazers.

"The magic is still here for me," Roy said. "I had some moments in my career that the fans carried me to and I think this was just another one that they did for me. Started cheering for us and it just made it really special that we were able to win the game."

Coach Roy's Nathan Hale Raiders rallied to defeat the favored No. 1 team in the country out of California, the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, 67-65 in the championship game of the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High.

"This school has never been in a big national tournament and when I told them we were going to play in one, they were excited about it," Roy said. "Good for these kids to go back to school Monday with the championship with a team that was 3 and 18 a year ago and beat one of the top teams in the country."

In his first coaching gig, the six-year pro and three-time All-Star still gets antsy on game day.

"As players you're nervous, as coach you're nervous," he said. "As a coach you have to try and lead those guys and be an example. I tried to do that as a player. It's even harder as a coach because you can't run up and down with them but we have really great leaders on this team. Michael Porter is the best player in the country."

Michael Porter Jr. is a high-profile transfer to Nathan Hale who has committed to Lorenzo Romar and Roy's alma mater at the University of Washington. Might the college game eventually come barking for B-Roy?

"I am in the moment," he said. "When I came to the school to do my interview, they asked how long. I said, 'I am in the moment, I want to be here. I am enjoying this and I am not trying to do this to go the next level. I am doing this right now and I am enjoying every moment with these kids."

B-Roy has love for the game, and love for Rip City.

Roy is the sixth coach in six years at Nathan Hale. Entering the LSI, the Raiders were rated sixth in the country. This, after a three-win season last winter.

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