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Michael F. "Mike" O'Koren (born February 7, 1958) is an American basketball coach and former player and broadcaster originally from Jersey City, New Jersey. O'Koren is currently an assistant coach at Rutgers University, serving under head coach Eddie Jordan.
A graduate of The University of North Carolina, where he played under Dean Smith, O'Koren was a first round draft pick of the New Jersey Nets in 1980 and played for the Nets and Washington Bullets in a career that ended in 1988.
After his retirement, O'Koren joined the Nets' broadcast team and remained there until 1999, when he joined Don Casey's staff as an assistant coach. He returned to Washington in 2003 when Eddie Jordan, with whom he had served in New Jersey, hired him to be the associate head coach of the Wizards. O'Koren also served as an assistant under Jordan with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2009-10 season.
After he was let go by the 76ers, O'Koren returned to broadcasting and called high school games for FiOS1 New Jersey before Jordan hired him to serve on his staff at Rutgers in 2014.
O'Koren attended Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City.
On a talent-laden 1977 UNC team as a freshman he averaged 13.9 points per game, scored 21 points against Duke in the ACC championship game and had 31 in the NCAA semi-finals against UNLV. As a sophomore his scoring rose to 17.8. He scored in double figures every game and was second nationally with a 64.3 field goal percentage.
In 1979, Carolina was picked to finish third or lower in all the 1979 ACC pre-season polls. But, Dudley Bradley, the nation's best defensive player, and Al Wood, one of the top shooters in the college game, each improved their play on the opposite ends of the court. With O'Koren already proven as a fine all-around player, the Tar Heels posted a 23-6 record, tied for first place in the league's regular-season race, swept the ACC Tournament and finished third nationally in the final coaches' poll.
O'Koren was at his best in the biggest games. He grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, scored 17 points, handed out seven assists and had four steals in a 74-68 homecourt win over Duke. He also held Gene Banks scoreless in the second half of that game. He finished with 22 points and five assists in a double overtime win over Virginia. In the ACC Tournament finals against Duke he had 18 points and 11 rebounds. He scored Carolina's final 10 points that day in a 71-63 victory.
As of 2013, O'Koren is the only player in North Carolina history to have scored at least 1,500 points (1,765), 800 rebounds (815) and 300 assists (348). He also had 183 steals and a career field goal percentage of 57.2.
Professional playing career
In his NBA career, O'Koren played in 407 games and scored a total of 3,355 points. His best year as a professional came during the 1981–82 season as a member of the Nets, appearing in 80 games and averaging 11.4 ppg.
O'Koren was an assistant coach under Eddie Jordan for over a decade: first from 1999 to 2003 with the New Jersey Nets and 2003 to 2009 with the Washington Wizards. In the 2009–10 season, O'Koren was an associate head coach with the Philadelphia 76ers again under Jordan.
- ^ D'Alessandro, Dave (March 25, 2011). "Jim Boylan, Mike O'Koren brought New Jersey flavor to NCAA Tournament in 1977". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- ^ "O'Koren, Langdon, Whittenburg highlight 2013 ACC Legends class". The Herald-Sun. Durham, North Carolina. January 31, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- ^ "Mike O'Koren". NBA. Retrieved March 23, 2013.