Matt Abdelmassih, who for two seasons assisted Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg as a staffer for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, is in his fourth year as a member of the Iowa State men’s basketball program.
Abdelmassih (pronounced Abdel-Massey) was the assistant director of operations for Iowa State in 2010-11 and was promoted to an assistant coach in April of 2011.
Abdelmassih’s strong ties to New York City and the east coast has helped the Cyclones sign a number of outstanding players from the area. His hard work on the recruiting trail has opened up many doors for the Cyclones, as ISU’s 2013 recruiting class was ranked in the top-40 nationally by ESPN.com.
Abdelmassih’s first two seasons as an assistant coach are among the best two campaigns in school history.
In 2012-13, the Cyclones made their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance despite losing its top-three scorers. Led by four all-conference players, the Cyclones won 23 games, rattled off a 22-game homecourt winning streak and went 16-1 at home.
The Cyclones earned the distinction as one of the most exciting teams in the country in 2012-13, leading all “power-six” teams and ranking third nationally in scoring at 79.4 ppg. ISU also led the nation in 3-pointers per game (9.9, 346), breaking the Big 12 record and tying for the 14th-best total in NCAA history.
The 2011-12 season was one of the best in school history. The Cyclones recorded 23 wins overall, tying for the fourth-most in school history, and tallied a 12-6 mark in Big 12 play, the third-best conference win total in the Iowa State record book.
Iowa State made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 during Abdelmassih’s second season in Ames, as the Cyclones appeared in the Associated Press’ top-25 poll for the first time since 2005 and defeated two top-10 teams (Kansas and Baylor).
Abdelmassih recruited Royce White to Iowa State, who produced one of the best seasons in school history in 2011-12 when he led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks and steals. White was an unanimous First-Team All-Big 12 pick, the Basketball Times’ National Newcomer of the Year and a honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.
White was the 16th pick overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, the fifth-highest selection in school history.
Iowa State has produced eight All-Big 12 players (White, Diante Garrett, Scott Christopherson, Chris Allen, Melvin Ejim, Will Clyburn, Tyrus McGee and Korie Lucious), recorded the two-best 3-point season totals in school history and is 46-23 in Abdelmassih’s two years as an assistant with the Cyclones.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Abdelmassih forged a solid working relationship and friendship with Hoiberg when he joined the T-Wolves organization in 2008. He spent his first season as a basketball operations intern, working directly with the T-Wolves coaching staff.
He was promoted to basketball operations assistant in 2009-10, moving into front office duties. He assisted the T-Wolves brass in a variety of roles, including salary cap issues and free agent analysis.
Abdelmassih was a student manager for the St. John’s men’s basketball team on Norm Roberts’ staff from 2004-07. He aided the director of operations with travel, video and camp responsibilities. At SJU, he spent most of his summers helping out at camps around the country, including camp work at Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA.
A 2007 graduate of St. John’s, Abdelmassih was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 19, 1985 and graduated from Cocalico High School in Denver, Pa.
Abdelmassih and his wife, Kelly, reside in Ames.