Ex-Grouses player rejoins Duke

Ex-Duke University captain Nate James, who played for the Toyama Grouses during their inaugural season in the bj-league in 2006-07, has returned to the program as a Blue Devils assistant coach, the ACC powerhouse school announced on Tuesday.

A vacancy was created on longtime coach Mike Krzyzewski’s staff when Johnny Dawkins recently left the program to become the head coach at Stanford.

Dawkins was a part of two Final Four squads during his college career (1996-2001) and helped the Blue Devils capture a national title in 2001.

“Nate is a great addition to our staff,” said Krzyzewski in a statement. “He was a valuable member of our program as a player and will be an asset as an assistant coach. His maturity, toughness and dedication to Duke will blend well with the current staff we have in place. I look forward to watching Nate develop and prosper in this role.”

James was Duke’s assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2007-08. As a pro player, he also suited up for teams in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Iran, the Philippines, Poland and Russia, as well as appearing at the Philadelphia 76ers training camp in 2004.