The Washington Wizards will finally have their own G League team during the upcoming 2018-19 season and will no longer have to ship their development players (i.e. Devin Robinson, Thomas Bryant, and/or Troy Brown Jr.) to Deleware for playing time. Instead, they will have them available just down the road of Capital One Arena in Southeast D.C. where they can be conveniently be shuttled back and forth if needed.
On Tuesday, team president Ernie Grunfeld officially named Pops Mensah-Bonsu as the team’s general manager and Jarell Christian as the team’s head coach, which had been previously reported. On Wednesday, the Go-Go including Mensah-Bonsu and Christian will host a basketball clinic for local students at Charles Hart Middle School in Southeast D.C.
“We are very excited for the upcoming inaugural season for the Go-Go and are very pleased to have Pops and Jarell heading up the team’s basketball operations,” said Grunfeld. “They come to us with outstanding experience and we’re confident that they will lead our efforts to develop both players and staff while establishing a presence in the Southeast D.C. community”
Mensah-Bonsu played four years of ball at George Washington University before bouncing around different NBA teams and their respective then D-League teams for four years. Over the last two seasons, the London native worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and was in attendance for more than a handful of Wizards games.
“I am humbled to be entrusted with this position and would like to thank the Wizards organization for the opportunity,” said Mensah-Bonsu. “Washington is my second home and the city has embraced me ever since I stepped on the George Washington campus. I am excited to be able to give back by making sure that the Go-Go is a pillar in the community and a team that the city can get behind.”
Christian comes to D.C. after being an assistant coach (and interim head coach in 2016) for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G League team, for the past four years. The Emory & Henry College in Virginia alum crossed paths with Washington head coach Scott Brooks during his previous stop as the Thunder’s head coach.
“I am proud to represent the Wizards and the D.C. community, especially Ward 8, as we head into our inaugural season,” said Christian. “The organization has expressed their confidence in me to lead these young men at such an influential time in their careers and I am excited about doing so as a part of such a close-knit community. My family and I look forward to meeting the individuals that make D.C. such a special place.”
The Go-Go will play their 24 home games on the campus of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast Washington, which will also become home to all Washington Mystics’ games upon completion. It is possible that the Wizards will also hold training camp at that facility after previous stops in Richmond and Towson.