Jerome Kersey named Portland's Director of Player Programs

Updated: August 13, 2003, 6:47 PM ET

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Former Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey has been hired by his former team as Director of Player Programs, a newly created position to develop young players and provide support on and off the court.

Kersey's position was outlined in the team's recent 25-point pledge to fans, which was designed to address problems that have plagued the franchise over the past season.

Kersey, a 17-year NBA veteran, played 11 years with the Trail Blazers. He ranks second on the team's all-time list with 831 games and 5,078 rebounds. He ranks third with 621 blocked shots and 1,059 steals.

After his retirement in 2001, Kersey worked in the mortgage industry in Portland. He recently served as an assistant coach for the Blazers' summer league team.

"He is the perfect individual to guide our young players, helping them understand what it means to live and work in Portland and what is expected of them as a Trail Blazer," said Portland general manager John Nash.

The Blazers also named two new assistant coaches: John Loyer, who has been an advance scout for the team for the past two seasons; and Bernard Smith, Portland's video coordinator for the last two years.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index