Sean Rooks spent 12 seasons in the NBA banging around on the low block against some of the league's all-time best big men.
Following his long NBA career, Rooks has since dedicated himself to teaching other down-low specialists the craft of the post position. The Phoenix Suns recently hired Rooks to help develop their bigs this upcoming season, and after spending valuable time in the D-League as an assistant, Rooks is set to start another career in the NBA, this time as a teacher.
Rooks coached for three different D-League teams (Bakersfield 2007-2008, New Mexico 2010-2011, and Sioux Falls 2011-2012), and in his most recent stint with Sioux Falls, he served as an assistant coach to close out the second half of last season. Rooks even held the title of head coach while in the D-League. When former UCLA head coach Jim Harrick resigned due to "personal reasons", it was Rooks who took over the interim duties.
Now in Phoenix, Rooks will look to share both his knowledge of the post position and also provide a body for Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris to practice up against. At 43-years-old, Rooks is still willing to teach by example, stating, "I've still got all of 270 (pounds) on me, I can definitely lean on somebody." For a guy who had the privilege to play up against the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Rik Smits, the Suns certainly have the right guy for the task ahead this season.
Rooks, who was a serviceable big man himself, holding career averages of 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds, also had the opportunity to watch arguably one of the best centers in NBA history play. Rooks joined the Los Angeles Lakers along with Shaquille O'Neal in the 1996-1997 season. The practice sessions alone with and against O'Neal, would lead one to believe that the former Arizona Wildcat standout has plenty to share with young players such as Markieff Morris.
Rooks was able to use his experience in the D-League as an assistant, and his various mentoring and coaching assignments since his playing days, to land him back in the NBA where a basketball mind such as his needs to be.