Skills trainer, Long Grove native Pagliocca named Sky general manager

The Sky took an unusual route in its quest for a general manager.

The team announced the hiring of skills trainer Jeff Pagliocca, a Long Grove native and Stevenson High School graduate.

Pagliocca has worked for the Sky during the past four years, assisting with player development and advising head coach James Wade. He held an official title, director of skill development, this past season.

"Jeff's expertise in player development and data driven talent evaluation, sophisticated basketball IQ, and his incredible relationships with players make him the perfect choice to complement coach (Teresa) Weatherspoon as we strive for another championship in Chicago," Sky president and CEO Adam Fox said in a statement.

The Sky has typically combined the positions of coach and general manager. They finally decided to create separate roles going forward, and introduced Weatherspoon as the new head coach a few weeks ago. With this move, the Sky may have decided to combine the roles of GM and skill development.

Pagliocca worked with a variety of players during his time with Evolution Athletics, which is based at the Berto Center in Deerfield, the Bulls' former practice facility.

In addition to Sky players like Kahleah Copper and Courtney Vandersloot, his list of clients includes NBA players such as Patrick Beverley, Patrick Williams and Mikal Bridges. But he's also worked with many local high school players, including several who reached the NBA - Frank Kaminsky, Max Christie, Brandon Paul and Jack Cooley among them.

His son Rocco is a sophomore at Stevenson and played on varsity last year as a freshman.

"I am beyond grateful to be named the new general manager of the Chicago Sky," Pagliocca said in a statement. "I'm very proud to partner with coach Weatherspoon and the Sky front office to shape a championship-caliber roster.

"With a strong background in strategy, player development, and tenure with this team, I am eager to build upon our tradition of excellence, hard work, and winning, in this energizing new chapter of Sky basketball. Expect us to bring unmatched toughness, grit, and relentless competitive spirit to Chicago."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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