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George G. Ellis | MN Timberwolves & Lynx

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

George works as the Director of the Basketball Academy for the Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx. He leads a dynamic team of basketball professionals and an outstanding staff of coaches with the goal to build a deeper connection between their professional franchises and the youth basketball community to grow the game while cultivating and engaging loyal Timberwolves & Lynx fans for life.

Their impactful programs aim to improve the basketball experience and build a culture where players, parents and coaches use the game to make a transformative impact personally, professionally and globally.

Their programs also look to develop a love for the game, instill life skills, and equip each player with the skills necessary to be a contributor within their program. The program impacts well over 7,000 players and coaches each year throughout Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Canada.

Prior to working with the Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx, George worked as the Director of Sports Development at the National Sports Center, the world’s largest amateur sports facility, located in Blaine, Minnesota.

He was initially tasked to lead the research and development of the National Sports Center’s first basketball facility and upon completion of his research, he was quickly retained to oversee the development of the facility and ultimately leading the basketball department.

While at the National Sports Center, he also managed the Hennepin Youth Sports Program, which each year provides $2 million in funding to local schools and governments to improve youth athletic and recreation facilities and to purchase athletic equipment to benefit youth sports throughout Hennepin County.

I love coaching and growing young people through the game. I also love influencing the next generation of basketball coaches and leaders to impact our community and the world and overall growing the game.

From High School to the Pros

George’s passion for coaching has also led to coaching stints at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota, as well as North High School in Minneapolis. George eventually worked his way up to Associate Head Coach under the leadership of Minnesota Hall of Fame Coach Larry A. McKenzie at Minneapolis North High School, a program in a school that almost closed their doors due to declining enrollment and district financial hardships.

George was blessed to be an instrumental part of the rebirth of the program that lead to winning the 2016 MN Boys State Championship and seeing all their seniors graduate and lead successful careers on and off the court. He also served as Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Anoka-Ramsey Community College under Hall of Fame Coach Ron Larson.

Coaching Passion Without Borders

George has a passion for international basketball development and has visited Tanzania, Africa and various parts of Turkey, on five separate occasions to lead multiple basketball development and national team programs for their players and coaches. He believes it’s amazing to see the differences in resources that different countries and areas have and believes each area has their own unique challenges in developing the sport. He believes that basketball provides many unique opportunities to engage young athletes and is a carrot to keep them motivated to do more, be more, and achieve more.


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Jun 19, 2020

Great write up!

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