George Drake returns to UAB and enters his first season as assistant director of basketball operations.
"George is a former UAB player and I think that connection to the city of Birmingham and the fan base will be fantastic," UAB head coach Jerod Haase said. "Through the interview process, everyone told me he is an extremely hard worker and loyal, and that's exactly what he's been so far."
"I'm really excited about this opportunity," Drake said. "God blessed me with this chance to come back here and be a part of the staff. I'm really looking forward to working with the coaching staff. Coach Haase and the assistants have a ton of knowledge and experience with the game. For me, as a young aspiring coach, I feel this is a great step for me and will only benefit me down the road."
Drake, a native of Calera, Ala., should be a familiar name to UAB fans as the 25-year old played his final season in Birmingham as a graduate transfer from Vanderbilt. During the 2009-10 campaign, Drake played in 33 contests and made 18 starts for the Blazers while averaging 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. Drake, who played 96 games during his previous three seasons at Vanderbilt, finished his career with 129 games played.
Since his final season with the Green and Gold, Drake has been working toward his master's degree in health education, which he expects to complete this May.
In his spare time, Drake has worked with youth at summer camps and basketball clinics. Most recently, he was with the Elite Hoops Basketball Organization, which is based in Atlanta, helping teach aspiring players basketball skills.
Drake played his high school ball at nearby Calera High School, where he finished runner-up for 2005 Alabama Mr. Basketball. He earned the distinction as the first player in Alabama history to be selected as Most Valuable Player of region four times.
Drake and his wife, the former Erica Smith, reside in Calera.
George Drake File
Born: October 5, 1986
Hometown: Calera, Ala.
Vanderbilt (B.S., Sociology)
UAB (M.S., Health Education - expected to graduate in May, 2012)