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Al Hairston

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Al Hairston

Alan (Al) Leroy Hairston (born December 11, 1945) is an American former professional basketball player and a college and high school head coach. His high school career has garnered him multiple league, district and state championships, as well as numerous individual awards.

A 6'1" (1.85 m) guard from Bowling Green State University, Hairston was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the fifth round of the 1968 NBA Draft and by the Kentucky Colonels in the 1968 ABA draft. Hairston appeared in two seasons for the Sonics, averaging 2.2 points per game.[1]

By far, Hairston has made his biggest contributions to the sport of basketball as a prep coach. Widely regarded as one of the best prep hoops coaches in Washington state history, Hairston achieved great success as head coach of the historically dominant boys hoops program at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, including guiding the program to five state titles from 1980 through 1991 (1980, 1983, 1986, 1987, and 1991), and two more state runner-up appearances during the same period (1989 and 1990). He also successfully coached the Kent-Meridian (Kent, WA) and Seattle O'Dea High School boys basketball programs to post-season appearances. In assuming the O'Dea post, he took over for the late Phil Lumpkin - also a former NBA basketball player and prep coaching star.

Hairston also served as head coach of the Seattle University men's basketball team (which competed as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics - NAIA) and as assistant coach of the University of Washington Husky men's basketball team under former head coach Bob Bender. As an assistant Huskies coach during the 1997-98 season, Hairston helped guide a team led by former NBA player Todd McCullough and Donald Watts (son of former Seattle Sonic Donald Watts) to the NCAA Sweet 16, where it lost to a Jim Calhoun coached University of Connecticut team on a buzzer-beater by NBA star Richard "Rip" Hamilton.

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