Portland native Josh Longstaff has been named head coach of the Erie (Pennsylvania) BayHawks of the NBA’s G League, it was announced Tuesday by the team’s general manager, Malik Rose.

Erie is the G League — formerly the NBA Developmental League — affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks. The Portland-based Maine Red Claws also compete in the G League.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of such a great organization,” Longstaff said in a news release. “I’m thrilled and humbled to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a head coach on the professional level.”

Longstaff, 34, is a 2001 graduate of Portland High School who helped the Bulldogs win the 1999 Class A state championship. He went on to play basketball for four years at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, then returned to Maine to coach at the high school level for five years.

Longstaff spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks after beginning his NBA coaching career with the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2010 to 2014. He began as player personnel and video coordinator for one year before being promoted to video analyst and player development coach.

He helped Oklahoma City make four straight playoff appearances, including the 2011-2012 Western Conference title and two conference finals appearances.

“Josh is a tremendous communicator and has shown the ability to build productive relationships with young players,” said Rose. “His passion and knowledge of player development fits in perfectly with the program we are building in Erie as well as Atlanta. We’re excited to be able to add a young coach of his caliber to the organization.”

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...