Clippers tab Madkins director of basketball ops

BY foxsports • September 24, 2012

The Los Angeles
Clippers Monday announced that Gerald
Madkins has been hired as the team’s
Director of Basketball Operations.

Directly reporting to newly appointed Vice President of Basketball Operations
Gary Sacks, Madkins will work closely with Sacks on all facets of the team’s
basketball operations.

Madkins joins the Clippers after serving as the Vice President of Player
Personnel for the New Orleans Hornets for the past two seasons. In his role with
the Hornets, Madkins was responsible for overseeing the scouting staff, salary
cap and database management, pro, college, international, and developmental
league talent evaluation, as well as assisting the general manager with all
front office duties. While in New Orleans, the Hornets drafted Anthony Davis
with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Prior to his role in New Orleans, Madkins served as the Director of Scouting
for the Houston Rockets from 2008-2010. During his time in Houston, the Rockets
advanced to the Western Conference semi-finals in 2009 and acquired Trevor Ariza
and Kevin Martin via free agency. The Rockets also drafted Sergio Llul
(34th pick) and Chase Budinger, (44th pick) in the 2009
NBA draft, and Patrick Patterson (14th pick) in the 2010 NBA draft.
In addition to overseeing the scouting staff and evaluating college,
developmental league and international talent, Madkins assisted the basketball
operations staff with statistical analysis. Madkins also served as the Vice
President of Player Personnel for Houston’s NBA Developmental League affiliate,
the Rio Grand Valley Vipers.

Prior to his role with the Rockets, Madkins served as the Director of West
Coast Scouting for the former Seattle Supersonics and current Oklahoma City
Thunder. During his tenure, the Sonics drafted Russell Westbrook (4th
pick), Serge Ibaka (24th pick) and DJ White (29th pick) in
the 2008 NBA draft. Madkins also served as a scout for the New York Knicks from
2003-07, when the Knicks notably drafted Trevor Ariza with the 43rd
pick in 2003. The Knicks also drafted Channing Frye (8th pick) Nate
Robinson (22nd pick) and David Lee (30th pick) in the 2004
NBA draft, and Wilson Chandler (17th pick) among others during
Madkins’ tenure.

Born April 18, 1969, Madkins had a standout career at UCLA, where he played
from 1987-1992.  Madkins served as a team captain his senior year, in which the
Bruins won the Pac-10 Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA
tournament. The Merced, California native still ranks in the top 10 in career
assists, steals, and 3 point field goal percentage for the Bruins.

Following his career at UCLA, Madkins played professionally for 8 years in
the NBA (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors) the Continental
Basketball Association (Grand Rapids Hoops, Rockford Lightning) the Spanish
Basketball League (Joventut Badalona) and the French Basketball League (Pitch
Cholet. Following his pro career, Madkins coached at California State University
Stanislaus  (2000-01.) He then returned to his alma mater, UCLA, where he served
as an assistant coach for 2 seasons (2001-03) and coached NBA veterans Dan
Gadzuric and Jason Kapono, as well as current Clippers Matt Barnes and Ryan

Also new to the basketball operations department is Eric
Miller, who will step into the role of Director of Basketball
Administration.  Miller’s responsibilities will include salary cap and database
management, contract negotiations, analytics, scheduling of preseason games as
well as assisting the Vice President of Basketball Operations in all other front
office duties.  Prior to joining the Clippers, Miller worked seven years as a
CPA in public accounting in the San Fernando Valley.  A 2000 graduate of Cal
State Northridge with a degree in Accountancy, Miller, his wife Joanna and their
four children Hannah, Luke, Ava and Sofia reside in Calabasas.

Returning for his eighth season as Director of International Scouting and his
11th overall season with the team is Fabrizio Besnati.

Besnati’s responsibilities include the global scouting of both draft eligible
players as well as potential free agents who are playing in professional leagues
worldwide. Besnati’s professional career began in 1999 when he accepted the
front office position of Assistant General Manager of Russia’s St. Petersburg
Lions while they were participating in Euroleague competition.

After the experience with the Russian team, Besnati accepted a similar
position with Austria’s Traiskirchen Lions. He then moved on to work for the
international sports agency, Interperformances, Inc., as a personnel consultant
focusing on Eastern Europe and Africa.

Besnati grew up in Varese, Italy but attended high school in Prescott,
Arizona in 1991. He speaks five languages and currently resides in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida and Belgrade, Serbia.

Rounding out the changes in the basketball operations department is
Jason Piombetti, who has been promoted to the position of
Director of Scouting. This marks Piombetti’s eighth overall season with the
team.  Piombetti previously held the position of Scouting Coordinator for the
past two seasons after joining the Clippers as Basketball Operations Assistant
in 2005.  He came to the Clippers after serving two seasons (2003-05) in the
baseball operations department for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In his current
role, Piombetti will oversee the team’s domestic scouting efforts and evaluate
prospects in college and the NBA D-League and will also assist in the day-to-day
activities of the basketball operations department.  In addition, he will
continue to compile information for the upcoming NBA Draft.  Piombetti graduated
from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo in 2003 with a double-major in Biology and
Business Administration and was a member of the Mustang baseball team.  A New
Jersey native, Piombetti and his wife Christina reside in Beverly Hills.