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Leap from preps to NBA 'an honor'

Former Lincoln coach starts new career path with T-Wolves
by: L.E. BASKOW David Adelman has stepped down as boys basketball coach at Lincoln High, where his teams won three state trophies in five seasons.

Growing up, David Adelman was a ball boy for the Trail Blazers. Throughout his childhood, he stood next to NBA legends and watched as his father, Rick Adelman, coached Portland to two NBA finals.

Now 30, David Adelman will stand next to his father on the sidelines as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

'That part of it is pretty special,' David Adelman says, anticipating his new job.

Adelman is stepping down as Lincoln High's boys basketball coach, a position he has held since 2006. Under Adelman, the Cardinals won three league championships and placed second, fourth and fifth in the OSAA state tournament.

Adelman's knowledge of basketball and ability to relate to players made him ready for a role with Minnesota. Once Rick Adelman was offered the head coaching job with the Timberwolves, he asked David to join him.

'We talked about it the last couple of weeks,' David Adelman says. 'Really, what went into it for me was did my wife (Jenny) want to make a move?And did we want to leave Portland?Both of them were tough. Leaving the city was the hardest part -leaving your friends and family. But it's a great opportunity.'

Adelman married Jenny last summer. He says he would not have taken the job in Minnesota without his wife's support.

'That's the most important thing,' Adelman says. 'Opportunity is great. And trying to further your career is great. But it really doesn't mean anything if you're not happy. If she's happy, I'm happy. You can't do things in life if they don't agree with the people that you love. You've got to be a team. I'm really lucky. I've married a very patient woman.'

On Monday, Adelman told the Lincoln players that he will not be back next season. It was a difficult conversation.

'When you've put so much time in with people and you've had success and you want to see each kid have the same opportunity every year, it's hard to say that you're leaving that,' Adelman says. 'It's hard to say goodbye to the whole community. It was such a great time in my life.'

Rick Adelman was named two weeks ago to succeed Kurt Rambis

Whenever the NBA lockout ends, David Adelman will work on the developmental staff, helping players improve their individual skills.

Adelman says he is eager to learn as much as he can from his father and the rest of the Timberwolves' staff.

On top of being around his dad on a daily basis, Adelman is looking forward to spending time with his mother, Mary Kay, and his brother, R.J., who will also be an assistant coach in Minnesota.

'It's going to be great,' David Adelman says. 'R.J. is my brother; he's also my best friend. It will be nice to see my mom, too.'

Adelman plans on returning to Portland as his schedule with the Timberwolves allows. As his airplane touched down in Minnesota on Monday, though, Adelman said he realized that he was about to start a new life.

'Coaching high school is awesome,' he says. 'It's an honor. But this part of it, it's a step up as far as learning the game in a different way. Everybody thinks they know it all, but they don't. It will be good to learn from people who know so much more than I do. You come in humble, you shut your mouth and you learn. That's the part I'm really excited about.'