It looks like TJ Ford won’t be out of hoops for too long. Ford was diagnosed as a teenager with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column, thus forcing him to eventually retire prematurely after another scare earlier this month. However, Ford isn’t letting this stop him from staying in the game.
TJ Ford, the former San Antonio Spurs point guard, and consensus player of the year at Texas will be announced today as a volunteer coach for the Austin Toros. The Toros are the NBA Development League team tied to the Spurs.
Ford told the Austin American-Statesman:
“I’ll look at it from another perspective,” said Ford, 28. “I’m really starting at the bottom. I’m not sure where I’m headed. But I’m headed in the right direction
Ford said he plans to use his time as a Toros coach — a position he compared to “an internship” that could lead to a second profession — to plan the rest of his career.
He would also go on to say:
“I retired prematurely,” he said Thursday night. “I’ve been around basketball my entire life. I feel I can do something. I feel I can give back to the game.”
After a great career at Texas, Ford was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. It wouldn’t take long before Ford would suffer his first major injury, as he injured his back during his rookie campaign. A sad story nevertheless, but it’s good to see him be able to stick with the game he loves in some capacity.