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Saturday, May 20, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Schrempf signs on as Sonics assistant coach

Seattle Times staff reporter

What began as an attempt to satisfy Detlef Schrempf's curiosity about coaching in the NBA has led to a one-year contract as an assistant with the Sonics.

After Schrempf completed what was essentially a four-month tryout this season, he talked with his family and the team about a change.

"I sat down with my wife and kids and we discussed how it would impact our lives and what it means," Schrempf said. "It was good to get away from the game and watch my kids grow up. They're older now, and they can adjust to a life change better. They're all for it."

Although he's a rookie coach, Schrempf has the critical task of mentoring one-time All-Star Rashard Lewis, former first-round pick Nick Collison and explosive newcomer Chris Wilcox, who is a free agent and expected to return next season.

Schrempf becomes the fourth assistant under coach Bob Hill, joining Jack Sikma, Ralph Lewis and Walt Rock. It's his first foray into coaching and a return to the NBA after a 16-year playing career with Dallas, Indiana, Seattle and Portland.

"I found out I still have what I had before, and that's a passion for the game," he said. "I still love the game and I like sharing. ...

"To me, if I do this, the long-term goal is to eventually be a head coach ... It's a good job being an assistant, but if you're competitive you try to push yourself to the next level."

Schrempf will continue with his charity work, which provides assistance for children and families in the Northwest, and his foundation is holding an auction and 13th-annual celebrity golf tournament in June.

Note

• Ralph Lewis will coach the Sonics' summer-league team that is scheduled to participate July 14-21 in the Rocky Mountain Revue in Salt Lake City.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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