The University of Northern Iowa, in partnership with the University of Iowa, will host a virtual conversation Friday with NBA coach Nick Nurse, a UNI Hall of Fame basketball star who led his Toronto Raptors to a 2019 championship.  

Nurse will discuss his rural Iowa upbringing, how he transitioned to find success throughout his career and the use of data analytics to drive decisions in the NBA. Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder, a UNI women's basketball standout and UNI Hall of Famer will host the virtual event from 2-3 p.m. April 25.

“It is always exciting anytime we can connect our students with outstanding alumni,” said Leslie Prideaux, assistant vice president of alumni relations. “We hope students can learn from Nick’s remarkable story and take to heart his perseverance and determination in reaching his career goals.”

Attendees can RSVP for the event online.

A 1990 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nurse began his coaching career at the age of 23 when he became the head coach of Grand View College. He was also an assistant coach at the University of South Dakota before heading overseas. 

Nurse is currently the head coach for NBA champion Toronto Raptors and the Canadian Senior Men’s National team. During his 30 years of coaching experience, Nurse has earned numerous championships around the world at the professional level and a reputation as one of the most innovative coaches. 

After coaching stints in the NBA G League and European leagues, Nurse was named the ninth head coach in Raptors history in June 2018 following five seasons as an assistant. In his first year at the helm, he guided the Raptors to 58 regular-season victories and the franchise’s first NBA championship title. He became the ninth head coach in NBA history to earn a title in his first season and was named the 2019-2020 Coach of the Year.