For Immediate Release - July 8, 2019
Today the Guelph Nighthawks professional basketball club announced Charles Kissi as the team’s Head Coach and General Manager. Kissi joins the Nighthawks from the Toronto Raptors G-League affiliate, the Raptors 905, where he is currently the First Assistant to Head Coach Jama Mahlalela.
Kissi joined the Raptors 905 last season where he helped guide the club to a 29-21 regular season record, preparing players including Chris Boucher, Malcolm Miller and Jordan Loyd for their roles with the Toronto Raptors on their run to the 2019 NBA Championship. Prior to joining the Raptors 905 Charles Kissi redefined the Brock University men’s basketball team, where over five seasons he developed a 4-win program, leading them to a 31-win season and a birth in the USport Final 8 national tournament. Kissi began his USport coaching career with the Ryerson Rams women’s basketball program, starting initially as an Assistant Coach until his promotion to Head Coach in 2010.
“Today is a significant step in the story of the Guelph Nighthawks professional basketball club as I proudly announce Charles Kissi as our Head Coach and General Manager,” said President Cameron Kusch. “Coach Kissi is a proven winner at every level he has coached. Charles transformed the Brock University men’s basketball program to a perennial powerhouse in the OUA, has been an prominent mentor to the development of players on both the Toronto Raptors and Raptors 905, is a dedicated coach on and off the court and brings experience with a number of players on the current Nighthawks roster. Our core values align with Kissi’s vision for Nighthawks basketball. He is a coach that will demand accountability and professionalism but in a structured environment that will allow our players to thrive. I’m truly excited to have someone of Coach Kissi’s experience lead our club forward.”
Cameron Kusch added, “I would like to take a moment and personally thank Juan Nunez for his dedication and leadership as he stewarded the club through our last two games as Interim Head Coach and General Manager. He’s a bright young basketball mind and we’re lucky to have him as part of our club. Also a thank you to the Raptors organization for allowing Coach Kissi to lead our club while remaining under contract with the Raptors 905.”
Charles Kissi commented on his hiring with the Guelph Nighthawks, saying “I would like to thank Cameron Kusch, the Guelph Nighthawks and the Canadian Elite Basketball League for the opportunity to lead this team the rest of the way. I am extremely grateful to the Raptors organization for allowing me to take advantage of this great professional development opportunity. For the next 8 games we want to compete hard and play together. It starts there.
We are setting our sights on the playoffs, which is an attainable goal for this team. I’m excited about the challenge ahead and to start working with our group of players and coaches.”
Following obligations to the Toronto Raptors at NBA Summer League, Coach Kissi will officially join the Guelph Nighthawks on Wednesday, July 10th as they prepare to play the Edmonton Stingers on July 11th. Juan Nunez will officially move back into his role as Assistant Coach and Video Coordinator.
Upon his return to Guelph on Friday, July 12th Coach Kissi will be available for one-on-one interview requests.
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