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Wildwood's Vogel to coach NBA all-stars

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Wildwood High School graduate Frank Vogel will be on one of the biggest stages in pro sports when the Indiana Pacers head coach leads the Eastern Conference team at the NBA All-Star Game.

Vogel, a native of Wildwood Crest, was selected to coach by the league by virtue of the Pacers having the Eastern Conference’s best record through earlier this week at 30-7.

“I’m excited for our organization,” Vogel was quoted as saying by the Indianapolis Star. “For (President) Larry Bird and (General Manager) Kevin Pritchard for putting this team together, for the players, for our trainers. My name is on the release, but this is a recognition of our team's success. It’s a team honor and I’m really excited about it.”

Vogel, a 1991 graduate of Wildwood, rose through the NBA ranks from the ground up. He began his career in basketball as a student manager and later video coordinator at the University of Kentucky before taking on video coordinator duties with the Boston Celtics in 1997. He served as an assistant coach with the Celtics, 76ers and Pacers before being named head coach of the Pacers midway through the 2010-11 season. Last season, Vogel led the Pacers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat.

“I came in here with him,” Pacers star Paul George said of Vogel in the Star. “He’s the one dude I respect the most on this team. He’s really coached me through a lot of things and made me better as a player. So it's amazing.”

The NBA All-Star Game will be held Sunday, Feb. 16 in New Orleans.

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