Great Britain coach Chris Finch is likely to become the new assistant coach of the Houston Rockets this week following the appointment of Kevin McHale in charge.

And club sources have hinted that the former Sheffield Sharks playcaller will be mentored by McHale as his potential long-term successor in the role.

The 42-year-old has spent the past two seasons in charge of the Rockets D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers, winning the championship in 2010 before losing in this year’s Finals to Iowa, coached by long-time friend and GB assistant Nick Nurse.

Houston general manager Daryl Morey lured the Ohio-born playcaller away from Belgium where he had led Mons to a European final. As part of the Rockets own developmental plans, Finch ran the same offensive playbook with the Vipers while also using his players to test out a number of specific in-game strategies.

With McHale – who replaces Rick Adelman – likely to be charged with re-building around young players, whether or not Yao Ming returns, the GB chief is likely to take a large role in implementing Morey’s philosophies along side McHale.

Finch began his coaching career in Sheffield in 1997 following three seasons with the club as a player. Initially a surprise appointment, he won the BBL Trophy in his second year at the helm and the Cup and league in his third as well as being named as Coach of the Year.

He was named as GB head coach when the national side was resurrected in 2006, leading the team to promotion to Division A and then into successive Eurobasket finals.

He agreed a new three-year contract last summer which will see him remain at the helm until the 2012 Olympics. The American’s new role with the Rockets is not expected to change that status, British Basketball officials confirmed.

GB are due to open training camp in Surrey on July 31. Previous plans to hold camp in either Chicago or Florida were abandoned by team chiefs after they were forced to pull out of a warm-up tournament in Brazil due to a change of dates.


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