Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton has agreed to become the head coach at Lincoln University, a private independent school based in his hometown of Oakland, he told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.
The first-year athletics program aims to eventually become a Division I NCAA school, and it has lined up D-I opponents for this coming season's schedule.
Payton is a nine-time All-Defensive team selection and the last guard to win Defensive Player of the Year, and he envisions shaping the squad in his image.
“It’s going to look something like me,” Payton said. “I’m going to get basketball players that’s going to work hard, going to grind, coming from that gritty, gritty neighborhood they grew up in.
"Some of them have gotten lost. Some of them got overlooked. Now you can come to a school where you can play under a guy like myself, as in a point guard that is going to play defense. Our program is going to play ‘D.’"
After starring at Oregon State, Payton averaged 16.3 points, 6.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game across 17 NBA seasons, primarily with the Seattle SuperSonics. He won his lone NBA title as a reserve with the Miami Heat in 2006 before retiring in 2007.
Citing his roots, the 52-year-old intends to do most of his recruiting on the West Coast, and the Bay Area in particular.
"If I can go to the South and the East and they want to come here, I’m going to give them a chance to come here," Payton said. "But I’m going to recruit in my area. I have to recruit in Oakland, California. I have to recruit in L.A. I have to recruit in Seattle. I have to recruit in Oregon."