The Associated Press [Mar-28-2017]

Associated Press, File

Former NBA veteran Ronnie Price joins alma mater Utah Valley in supporting role

By Sean Walker, | Updated - Jan. 11, 2021 at 8:55 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 11, 2021 at 3:51 p.m.

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OREM — Mark Madsen, the nine-year NBA veteran who played alongside greats of the league like Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, is adding another NBA standout to his staff.

The second-year head coach at Utah Valley confirmed the school is bringing back alumnus and former NBA standout Ronnie Price to serve as the team's director of player development. Price's new role, which will work alongside Madsen and assistant coaches Todd Phillips, Todd Okeson and Jarred Jackson in developing and mentoring talent on the roster, beginning with the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

"Ronnie Price is a tremendous leader who will have a huge impact on the UVU men's basketball program," said Madsen, who was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers and won NBA titles in 2001 and 2002. "I got to know Ronnie playing summer pickup basketball in 2004 at UVU. At that time, I was blown away not only with his basketball skill, but with who he is as a person. Ronnie later joined the Lakers and his knowledge of the game stood head and shoulders above the rest.

"Ronnie is going to have a huge impact here. I feel incredibly excited that he is joining the UVU staff."

A Utah Valley Hall of Famer and longtime ambassador for the program, Price helped transition the school from junior college to Division I during his career from 2002-2005. He averaged 24.3 points per game as a senior, the third-best mark in the NCAA at the time, and helped the Wolverines win the NCAA Division I Provisional Championship, an event featuring teams of transitioning or re-classifying Division I programs that concluded with Utah Valley's win over Florida Gulf Coast. An All-District 8 honoree and Division I Independent Player of the Year, Price is the school's all-time leading scorer by average at 22.2 points per game and second in total points with 1,245.

Following his time in Orem, Price spent 12 seasons in the NBA, including four with the Utah Jazz. He retired from the league in 2016-17, averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 assists per game over his dozen years.

Price joins a team that is 4-5 overall and 2-0 in Western Athletic Conference playing following an opening weekend sweep of California Baptist. The Wolverines play t Seattle U. on Friday and Saturday in a pair of games that will be streamed live on the WAC Digital Network.


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