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David Adkins hired as Wizards’ player development assistant

Wizards Coach Randy Wittman hired David Adkins as a player development assistant, filling a vacancy on the coaching staff left when Ryan Saunders departed for Minnesota.

[Breaking NBA news: LeBron James announces he will return to Cleveland.]

Adkins, 50, was an assistant on Brenda Frese’s coaching staff with the University of Maryland women’s basketball team for the past five years and helped the Terrapins reach the 2014 Final Four. Frese congratulated Adkins on the move on her Twitter account while adding that he had “a big impact on our program.” She also asked the question, “Curius? Has any women’s asst coach made the jump to @nba before?”

While the Wizards’ hire might seem unusual, Adkins was a longtime high school boys’ basketball assistant coach at DeMatha and Montrose Christian, where he worked with future NBA players Kevin Durant, Greivis Vasquez and Victor Oladipo. He has also trained Linas Kleiza, Alex Len and Austin Freeman.

Saunders left for Minnesota after the draft to join the staff of his father, Flip, who added coaching duties to his responsibilities as team president of the Timberwolves.

Adkins has been with Wizards’ this week during summer league minicamp. Al Harrington has also volunteered to help but hopes to continue his playing career. The Wizards will play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Wittman’s staff now consists of Adkins and holdovers Sam Cassell, Don Zierden, Don Newman and Pat Sullivan.