T.J. Ford's days on the basketball court are not over yet, even if his playing days are through.
After announcing that he was retiring two weeks ago, Ford has a new gig already. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the former Texas Longhorn will be returning to Austin as he begins a stint working as a volunteer coach with the D-League's Austin Toros.
Ford told the Statesman:
I’ll look at it from another perspective. I’m really starting at the bottom. I’m not sure where I’m headed. But I’m headed in the right direction.
Giving up the game at such a young age due to health concerns, it has to be hard for Ford to know he's done competing as a player. Working with other young players who are keen to develop and get their own shot in the league is a perfect way for the point guard to continue dishing out assists and stay involved in the game.
Ford will get to work with a talented roster in Austin that includes San Antonio's Cory Joseph, another former Longhorns point guard. Pretty neat little connection there.
Here's more from Ford on his next step:
I retired prematurely. I’ve been around basketball my entire life. I feel I can do something. I feel I can give back to the game.
It's great news that Ford is going to find a way to still be around the game. It's even sweeter that he gets to do it in Austin, where he first wowed the world with his talents as one of the greatest basketball players to ever wear a Longhorns uniform.
While it's unfortunate that injuries have ended Ford's career early, there's a lot that he could teach the Toros about being professional, and there's even more that he can teach them about basketball. A great move for the Toros, this is also a move that will hopefully provide Ford some peace.