Nimely Retires from Pro Basketball, Begins College Coaching

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Nimley ended his pro career at Šiauliai in Lithuania after spending three months with the club. Photo: Šiauliai.

Liberia’s international basketball star Saah Nimely has retired as an active basketball player at age 25, but has returned to Charleston Southern University as Assistant Coach.

The retirement of Nimley, who will be turning 26 on June 3, 2019, was confirmed on May 22, 2019 after Charleston Southern (CSU) men’s basketball team head coach Barclay Radebaugh, welcomed Nimley back to his college basketball team, and announced his addition to the staff as an assistant coach.

According to the team’s website, Nimley replaced his former teammate Arlon Harper, who left CSU following the 2018-19 season to pursue other professional opportunities.

“We are excited to welcome Saah back “home to Charleston Southern.”

Saah was one of the most efficient, dynamic, inspirational and successful players ever to wear a Charleston Southern University uniform. What he did at Charleston Southern as a player was truly amazing.

Saah was a point guard/leader who had the unique ability to bring out the very best in his teammates,” the website quotes coach Radebaugh.

He added, “We are very excited about Saah bringing that same excellence to his coaching career,” Radebaugh said.

“Saah has always had a strong desire to be a college coach, but he is thrilled about what he will bring to our players as a mentor and coach,” the Website said.

According to the university’s history, Nimley, a 2015 CSU graduate, is the team’s all-time assists leader and third-leading scorer.

“I am excited and also very grateful for the opportunity given to me to come back, and coach at the school I attended and played for during the time,” Nimley said.

“I just hope to make the same lifelong impact on these young players that my coaches made on me during my time here,” he said.

Nimley ended his career at Šiauliai in Lithuania after spending three months with the club. According to  the club, after the end of the Nimley’s trial period, they offered him to stay and finish the season at the Betsafe-LKL Championship, but Nimley himself decided not to accept the offer, which resulted to the termination of the agreement by mutual agreement.

During his spell at CSU, Nimley was one of the influential players. He led the Bucs to NIT berths in 2013 and 2015. As a freshman in 2011-12, Nimley finished as runner-up for Big South Freshman of the ‘Year’ honors as CSU captured its first winning season in 16 years.

The Liberian international was also named ‘Big South’ player of the year in 2015, one of his biggest accomplishments during his active career. The Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year is an annual college basketball-award given to the Big South Conference’s most outstanding player.

After leaving college basketball in 2015, Nimley kick-started another chapter of his career with Nevėžis in Lithuania and later moved to Finland where he joined Vilpas Vikings during the 2016/2017 league season.

The point guard later made a big move to when he joined Britain’s most successful basketball club, Newcastle Eagles. Nimley joined the Eagles as a replacement of two-time BBL MVP winner Rahmon Flecther. He made his debut for the Eagles in September of 2017 and became one of the top performing players in the British Basketball League.

At Newcastle Eagles, Nimley was key on the team’s roster as they finished the 2017/18 British Basketball League (BBL) regular season as the 3rd top-seeded team in the BBL Championship.

Nimley featured for the Eagles in all 33 games that season and scored 587 points, making him the Eagles’ second top regular-season scorer and third scorer in the 2017/18 BBL regular season.

The 25-year-old Liberian point guard also recorded 178 assists, highest on his team and fourth in the league, 106 rebounds, and 55 steals.

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