By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Growing up in western Minnesota, he was a high school gym rat. Now, he coaches in NBA gymnasiums.

It only took about 30 years of basketball coaching and administration to get there, but now Clay Moser calls Los Angeles home.

He started in Fergus Falls, playing for the Otters and the community college team before getting his first big coaching break.

He worked with Jim Valvano before cancer took his life, when he was a national champion basketball coach.

“Jim was a guy who had no business taking a chance on me,” Moser said. “There were probably a thousand people he should have hired other than me, but he took a great liking to me.”

Thus began a 30-year coaching career that took him all over the country, at every level, until he landed a job as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I spent a lot of time in the minor leagues in a lot of different capacities,” he said.

He’s learned that to survive in a profession where jobs are coveted, you need persistence and patience.


Mike Max


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