On Tuesday afternoon, the Canton Charge announced that they’ve hired Nate Reinking as their new head coach. Reinking will take over the role after being an assistant coach with the team since the 2013-14 season. Over those three seasons, Reinking served under both Steve Hetzel and Jordi Fernandez, who have since been promoted to Charlotte and Denver, respectively.
Under the leadership of both Hetzel and Fernandez, Reinking helped push the Charge to being arguably the most consistent defenses in the NBADL. Canton’s defense finished at the toaaqp of the NBADL in both 2013-14 (101.4 points per game) and 2014-15 (95.8 points per game), and 5th in 2015-16 (103.3 points per game).
Prior to his arrival in Canton, Reinking already had more than 20 years of college, professional and international experience both as a player and coach. During most of that time, Reinking traveled around the U.K as one of the best players in British basketball. Over the course of that fifteen year career, Reinking stood as one of the more consistent players in the British Basketball League (BBL). That career was headlined by him averaging 19.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game during the 1996-97 season.
Alongside that long stint in the BBL, Reinking was actually part of Great Britain’s National team. As part of that squad, Reinking helped lead Great Brtain to two EuroBasket appearances (2009, 2011) and an opportunity to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Although Great Britain didn’t have much success during those tournaments, Reinking continued to stand as a consistent offensive weapon. A prime example of that was the 2009 EuroBasket where Reinking averaged 12 points on 52% from the field and 46% from beyond the arc. Despite that performance, Great Britain finished 13th in the 16 team tournament.
The combination of Reinking’s national team play and his stint with the Charge was enough for Canton to hire him as their new head coach. In a statement following the initial announcement, Charge GM Mike Gansey said the following:
“Nate rose to the top of the list based on the phenomenal job he’s done for us the last three years,” said Gansey. “He truly earned this promotion to Head Coach through all of his tireless work and attention to detail in the little things that have helped make us great. His national team playing and coaching experience as well as roots in our area are terrific added bonuses.”
Despite coming into that head coach position with a great resume, Reinking will still have to prove that he can live up to the example set by both Hetzel and Fernandez. Over the last few years, the Charge have established themselves as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA D-League. If Reinking is able to maintain that defensive consistency, then we could see him in the NBA in the future.