Darvin Ham

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Darvin Ham
Darwin Ham WH2004.jpg
Ham in 2005 at the White House.
Atlanta Hawks
Position Assistant coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1973-07-23) July 23, 1973 (age 43)
Saginaw, Michigan
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Saginaw (Saginaw, Michigan)
College Texas Tech (1993–1996)
NBA draft 1996 / Undrafted
Playing career 1996–2008
Position Forward
Number 35, 31, 21, 8
Coaching career 2008–present
Career history
As player:
1996–1997 Denver Nuggets
1997 Indiana Pacers
1997–1998 Washington Wizards
1999 CB Granada (Spain)
19992002 Milwaukee Bucks
2002–2003 Atlanta Hawks
20032005 Detroit Pistons
2007–2008 Albuquerque Thunderbirds (D-League)
2008 Austin Toros (D-League)
As coach:
20082010 Albuquerque Thunderbirds (D-League) (assistant)
2010–2011 New Mexico Thunderbirds (D-League)
20112013 Los Angeles Lakers (assistant)
2013–present Atlanta Hawks (assistant)
Career highlights and awards

Darvin Ham (born July 23, 1973) is an American retired professional basketball player and current assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. He played eight seasons in the NBA from 1996 to 2005 and later for the Philippine Basketball Association and NBA Development League until 2008.

Basketball career[edit]


After attending Saginaw High School, Ham went to Texas Tech University in 1993. While playing for Texas Tech, he gained national attention by shattering the backboard on a slam dunk during the 1996 NCAA Tournament against UNC. The dunk shifted momentum for the Red Raiders, catapulting them to the second Sweet Sixteen in school history. The dunk was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Ham won the NCAA slam dunk contest in 1996, following former college teammate Lance Hughes' win in 1995. In his 90-game college career, he averaged 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 turnovers in 22.9 minutes, on top of .597 FG and .498 FT shooting.[1]

Ham was signed by the Denver Nuggets as a free agent on 1 October 1996. He was then traded by Denver[2] to the Indiana Pacers for Jerome Allen on February 1997. Ham then signed as free agent with the Washington Wizards (1997), Milwaukee Bucks (1999), Atlanta Hawks (2002) and Detroit Pistons (2003). In his eight-season 417-game NBA career, he averaged 2.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 fouls in 12.4 minutes, on top of .598 FG and .494 FT shooting.

Ham also competed in the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, and was a member of the 2004 NBA champion Detroit Pistons. His powerful slams earned him the nickname "Dunkin Darvin" and "Ham Slamwich" from George Blaha, the Pistons play-by-play announcer.[3]

In 2005 Ham was a participant in the Basketball Without Boarders program that was located in Johannesburg, South Africa and later in 2015 he participated in the Dominican Republic.

On January 17, 2006, Ham was enlisted by the Philippine Basketball Association team Talk N' Text Phone Pals as its import.[4] He averaged 16 points in the 2006 PBA Fiesta Conference Playoffs. However, the Pals eventually lost to Air21 Express in the series, 2–3. Ham would go on to say that playing in the PBA was like “‘hooping in handcuffs’.[5]

In 2006, Ham served as a studio analyst for Fox Sports Southwest's coverage of the Dallas Mavericks' playoff run. He then became a member of the Orlando Magic summer league team in the Pepsi Pro Summer League from July 10–14, 2006. Ham later on appeared in the 2006 preseason with the New Jersey Nets.

In 2007, Ham had a preseason stint with the Mavericks but was waived on October 24, 2007.[6][7] He was then drafted third overall in the 2007 NBA D-League draft by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds.[8] On April 4, 2008, the Thunderbirds traded Ham to the Austin Toros.[9]


In October 2008, Ham was named an assistant coach for the Thunderbirds.[10] He later served as their head coach. In October 2011, he became an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.[11] In 2013, he joined the Atlanta Hawks' coaching staff.[12] Most recently, Ham and the coaching staff led the Atlanta Hawks to a divisional title and the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

In June 2011, Ham traveled to Venezuela as a SportsUnited Sports Envoy for the U.S. Department of State. In this function, he worked with Kayte Christensen to conduct basketball clinics for 300 youth from underserved areas and met with Venezuelan sports officials. In so doing, Ham helped contribute to SportsUnited's mission to promote greater international understanding and inclusion through sport.[13] He then followed up on these efforts and conducted a second set of clinics for more than 200 youth in Myanmar. This was the first State Department-sponsored sports exchange with Myanmar.[14]

In 2013, Ham signed with the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant coach. He helped the Hawks reach the playoffs in two consecutive seasons including making it to the Eastern Conference finals in 2015. Along with his help in bringing Atlanta to the playoffs, he also assisted the Atlanta Hawks starting five into 2015 NBA All-Stars.


Ham's slam dunk during the 1996 NCAA Tournament made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Ham is the son of Wilmer Jones-Ham, the first female mayor of Saginaw, serving from 2001 to 2005.[15]

Darvin Ham is married to Deneitra Ham. They both went to Texas Tech.[16] His son, Darvin Ham Jr., plays for Northwood University.[17][18]


  1. ^ Darvin Ham NBA & ABA Statistics. Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  2. ^ http://www.tsn.ca/nba/teams/players/bio/?id=147
  3. ^ Garcia, Michael (2007-11-23). "D-League: Thunderbirds' Darvin Ham to share NBA experience with younger players". The Albuquerque Tribune. Archived from the original on 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  4. ^ Pals take former Piston[dead link]
  5. ^ Can't Stop The Bleeding » The Propaganda War Against Darvin Ham. Cantstopthebleeding.com (2006-04-24). Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  6. ^ "Mavericks waive Ham and Newson". Yahoo!. 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Darvin Ham game log". NBA. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008. 
  8. ^ Murrieta, J. P (2007-11-01). "Albuquerque Thunderbirds draft Texas Tech product". KOB.com. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  9. ^ Thunderbirds trade their #1 draft pick. Kob.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  10. ^ The Albuquerque Thunderbirds Welcome Their 2008–2009 Coaching Staff. Nba.com (2009-11-27). Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  11. ^ Lakers hire Darvin Ham, espn.com
  13. ^ "Basketball Players to Visit Venezuela as Sports Envoys | IIP Digital". iipdigital.usembassy.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  14. ^ "US sends basketball players to Burma". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  15. ^ Saginaw Government website. Saginaw-mi.com (2001-11-12). Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  16. ^ Faces in the Crowd: Darvin Ham
  17. ^ Bridgeport senior Darvin Ham gives verbal commitment to play basketball for Northwood University – MLive.com. Highschoolsports.mlive.com (2010-02-23). Retrieved on 2011-11-22.
  18. ^ Former Bridgeport star Darvin Ham develops into versatile forward for Northwood

External links[edit]