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Mike Bibby feels he has opened more coaching opportunities for himself after receiving his bachelor’s degree from UNLV on Saturday, 21 years after graduating from Phoenix Shadow Mountain High School.

Bibby has coached Shadow Mountain to three state basketball championships in the past four seasons, including going 27-0 this past season, before having a 33-game winning streak snapped in New York at the eight-team Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals.

Bibby helped lead the University of Arizona to the NCAA championship 20 years ago as a freshman point guard. He left college after his sophomore season to start a 14-year NBA career.

He was the second overall pick of the 1998 NBA draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies.

“It feels great to finally get my college degree,” Bibby said. “Playing college basketball helped me reach my dream in the NBA but as someone who is looking to continue in a career in coaching, I think it is important to have that diploma.”

Bibby said he received his degree through an online program at UNLV in multidisciplinary studies.

He said he meet a couple of years ago with JD Consulting Group, which is based in Las Vegas and helps ex-pro athletes get back on track in finishing college.

“I eventually enrolled in an online education program in the College of Liberal Arts at UNLV,” Bibby said. “I also spent time on campus, including working with my adviser there, Tracy Johnson.”

Bibby still is the Shadow Mountain coach. He became the coach during his son Michael Bibby’s sophomore year. The only time Shadow Mountain didn’t win a state championship under Bibby was three years ago, when Michael injured his knee and missed the second half of his junior season. Michael started his college career at South Florida but left after one season and is looking to transfer to another school.

“Right now, I don’t know what opportunities will be out there,” Bibby said of potential coaching opportunities. “We’ll see where it goes, whether it’s continuing at Shadow Mountain or something new. 

“But the long-range goal is to get to the college and pro level.”

Bibby spent some of the NBA preseason in the San Antonio Spurs’ and Sacramento Kings’ camps, observing the coaches.

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