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Former Michigan State star Charlie Bell named head coach of Flint developmental team

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Flint has a new basketball team, and that basketball team has found its coach.

Charlie Bell, a member of the famed "Flintstones" who led Michigan State to a national championship in 2000, was named head coach of the developmental-league team Monday.

Former Michigan State star Charlie Bell, shown here in 2015, has been named the head coach for a new developmental basketball team in Flint.

Bell, 41, starred at Flint Southwestern and Michigan State, before going on to a career in the NBA that included stops with the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.

He retired in 2012 and has been an assistant coach since 2016, in the NBA's developmental league, the G League, for the Texas Legends (Mavericks) and Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves).

“I’m excited about the opportunity to have my first head coaching job here in Flint, where I grew up and I know how special and deep the passion for basketball is for the city," Bell said in a statement. "I have played for a lot of great coaches and the last couple years as an assistant in the G League has taught me a lot about what it takes to build a great team.”

The Flint United are part of The Basketball League, which aims to help develop professional prospects who weren't drafted, preparing them for the G-League or overseas play. Bell, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound shooting guard, himself went undrafted out of college, but went on to play 376 games in the NBA.

The Basketball League, launched in 2018 as North American Premier Basketball, has 30 teams, divided by regions. The Midwest region also includes the Detroit Hustle, Anderson (Indiana) Aces, Columbus (Ohio) Condors, Dayton (Ohio) Flight, Indy Express and Kokomo (Indiana) BobKats.

The 2021 season will be the first for Flint and Detroit, both of which haven't yet announced venues.

“This is Flint basketball; Charlie is on the Mount Rushmore of basketball in our city and having the opportunity for him to lead our team was a no-brainer," Flint United owner Kevin Mays said in a statement. "A proven winner who knows all levels of the game at the professional level will give our athletes access to unlock their greatest potential.”

Bell was one of four members of MSU's Flintstones, with three — including Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson — winning the 2000 national championship. Antonio Smith graduated in 1999.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984