The life and legacy of San Antonio Spurs mastermind Gregg Popovich continues to grow with his reported induction to the Air Force Hall of Fame.
Before he became the lynchpin that guided the San Antonio Spurs into one of the league’s most unprecedented runs of success, head coach Gregg Popovich was a young man working to complete his academic career while representing the Air Force’s basketball program.
Popovich joins an exclusive class of distinguished alumni entering the Air Force Hall of Fame’s seventh annual class.
As a player, Popovich served as team captain in his final season and later rejoined the program as an assistant coach for six seasons. In many ways, the Air Force academy provided preparation and experience that led to his professional success.
Congrats to @spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich who is being inducted into the Air Force Athletic Hall of Fame thanks to his dominance on the court. Coach Pop had a career field goal percentage of 54.1 for the Falcons!
— NBA Coaches Assoc. (@NBA_Coaches) February 14, 2019
Standing at 6-foot-3, Popovich managed to excel in his two seasons as a player before graduating in 1970. In spite of his size, Popovich was extremely precise and accurate in his shot selection. As one of the greatest basketball minds in the history of the sport, Popovich utilized expert shot selection to finish his career with a 54.1 percent field goal percentage.
It’s evident that Popovich translated his thought process as a player to his strategy as a coach. Over the last 20 years, Popovich has worked tirelessly to put his players in the best possible position to succeed. Consider LaMarcus Aldridge, who finds himself on the low block and mid-range more often than not. This is by design, as Aldridge is known for creating shots from these specific spots on the court.
If not for his time with the Air Force, league and franchise history would be significantly altered. Congratulations to the greatest coach of all time!