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Wortho bound for US coaching gig

RETIRED Australian Boomers and NBL star Mark Worthington will leave tomorrow for the US to take up an assistant-coaching role at storied Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Originally slated for a post-playing career in the media, with opportunities at FOX SPORTS as an NBL caller, the man affectionately known as "Wortho" instead will reunite with his former college coach Mike Dunlap at LMU.

Dunlap is heading for his fourth year at the helm of the university's men's program after coaching Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA's 2012-13 season.

A graduate of LMU himself, Dunlap coached the NBL's Adelaide 36ers into the 1994 grand final series in his first year and to additional short-lived playoff runs in 1995 and 1996, before returning to the US.

From 1997 to 2006, he coached Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Bunbury-born Worthington played for Dunlap at Metro State from 2001-05 before joining the Sydney Kings and winning NBL Rookie of the Year honours in the 2005-06 season.

A dual-Olympian and two-time FIBA World Cup campaigner, Worthington, 34, won a championship under Dunlap's close coaching colleague Brian Goorjian at South Dragons and also had playing stints at Gold Coast Blaze, Melbournes Tigers and United, concluding his career in 2016-17 at Cairns Taipans.

The highly-respected 335-NBL game veteran was cheered off the court in his home state at Perth Arena when the Wildcats eliminated Cairns in the semi finals last season.

Keen to develop his coaching skills, Worthington has coached Cairns Dolphins in the QBL for the past two seasons.

SEE YOU IN LA: Ah, but which one of them uttered that whisper?

Worthington was unavailable for comment today but he will join an LMU staff which also includes another well-known coach in Brannon Hays.

Steve Spencer and Hays were two coaches Dunlap coaxed to Adelaide to assist him during his three-year NBL stint after he joined the NBL club from Cal-Lutheran University.

Hays arrived as "The Shot Doctor", professing to improve shooting technique, and eventually head-coached Norwood Flames' men's team in 1995-96 in what is now Premier League in South Australia.

Worthington is believed to have coaching aspirations for the highest levels but recognises he has a foundation to lay and will join LMU as a graduate assistant.

Sep 9

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