Nick Billings told the Daily Mirror on Wednesday that he has accepted an offer to help Wasilla High School’s basketball programs for the 2014-15 season.
Billings was an assistant coach on the Kodiak girls team that went 27-0 and captured the program’s second state championship. He helped the Bears the past three seasons.
Head coach Amy Fogle stepped down in June.
Billings said he came in contact with Wasilla’s boys coach Ryan Engebretson while conducting summer camps across the state.
“He really put in the effort to try to get me to come up there,” Billings said. “It is time for me to move on, and to try new things. I need to keep challenging myself — I don’t want to win with just one program, I want all the programs to win.”
Billings said he hopes to eventually coach in college, and he sees this job as a stepping-stone for his career. He said he could end up coaching the Wasilla boys C-team, while working with both the boys and girls post players.
Billings, a seven-footer, was a star post player on Kodiak’s 2001 undefeated boys team. He went on to play for NCAA Division I Binghamton University (New York) and then played eight seasons professionally overseas before a knee injury ended his career, which brought him back to Kodiak in 2011.
“I want the whole program to take advantage of me. That is just the kind of person I am,” Billings said.
Billings traveled all over the state this summer teaching youths, which included working with Lady Alaska Hoops, a squad of elite high school players.
“I don’t want to be just anyone’s coach, I want to be Alaska’s coach,” he said.
Billings said he wasn’t approached about filling Kodiak’s girls head coaching vacancy, but said he enjoys just being a coach working with kids.
Wasilla’s boys are scheduled to play in Kodiak in late February.
“No matter what colors I wear, I bleed blue and gold,” said Billings, who leaves the island on Friday. “I hope it is fun. I would feel pretty bad if I got booed. I’ve tried to give everything I have to this community, this high school and this program.”
Contact Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.