Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Suhr Living Hoops Dream

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Suhr Living Hoops Dream

Article excerpt

The college senior was summoned to Rutgers for a meeting with Dick Vitale. Just days earlier, Vitale, a Scarlet Knights assistant coach, had been hired to take over the men's basketball program at the University of Detroit.

He wanted Fair Lawn native Brendan Suhr to join his staff.

Suhr was pursuing his physical education degree at Montclair State and was student teaching at Fair Lawn High School.

"I left and started recruiting," Suhr, 64, said. "That was the start of my career. It's just been an incredible journey and one that few people could have ever dreamt could happen."

Suhr still earned his degree, though his career had already launched. His move to Detroit started a remarkable run in basketball that has included 25 years as an assistant in the NBA.

Now in his first season as the associate coach at Louisiana State, Suhr is mentoring stud freshman and NBA prospect, Ben Simmons.

Suhr's had quite a run from Fair Lawn, where he played for Hubie Brown in high school, to Baton Rouge, La.

While attending Montclair State, Suhr spent 10 weeks each summer working at various basketball camps. He coached, but just as importantly, he networked. By his senior year, he had connections to the country's top college coaches, which helped him land his first job on Vitale's staff.

It was only the start.

After Detroit, Suhr became an assistant at Fairfield. He was in his fifth year when he received a call from his friend Mike Fratello.

At the time, Fratello was Brown's assistant with the Atlanta Hawks.

Fratello told Suhr that Brown wanted to meet with him about a business proposal in Washington, where the NBA was having its league meetings. The next day, Suhr took a flight and the three of them met in Brown's room at The Mayflower Hotel.

There was no business proposal.

"Hubie looked at me and he said, 'I'm offering you the assistant's job with the Atlanta Hawks,' " Suhr said. …

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