Former Kobe Bryant trainer hired as Aztecs basketball assistant coach

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — The San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team has added a new assistant coach known for his work with an NBA legend.

On Wednesday, SDSU’s head coach Brian Dutcher announced the hiring of assistant coach Ryan Badrtalei who has been with the University of California, Irvine for 19 years.

“Ryan brings a wealth of coaching and recruiting experience to our program and immediately stood out when this process began,” Dutcher said. “I have known Ryan for 19 years and have high expectations for him and our program heading into the upcoming season and beyond.”

Badrtalei has helped develop NBA and international players, but most notably trained late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant on the court, as well as in strength and conditioning. Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and received an NBA Most Valuable Player award and two Olympic gold medals.

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During his time with UC Irvine, Badrtalei spent the last four seasons as an associate head coach with the Anteaters. He also served as an assistant with the team for 10 years, as well as being involved in recruiting, player development, scheduling, scouting and academic coordination.

“I am absolutely thrilled and deeply honored to join the men’s basketball staff at San Diego State,” Badrtalei said. “The opportunity to work alongside Coach Dutcher and his incredibly talented staff is a dream come true. The program’s commitment to the student athlete’s experience and pursuit of excellence are values that align with my own. I look forward to contributing to the rich legacy and am excited for the journey ahead.”

Badrtalei’s career with UC Irvine has produced a Big West regular season title and the No. 1 seed into the conference tournament five times.

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