Darvin Ham is an American basketball coach and former NBA player who had a playing career that lasted from 1996 to 2008. Ham, who went undrafted in 1996 but still managed to fashion out a career for himself, played in the NBA and won a championship before moving overseas. He would later return to the NBA Development League where he retired in 2008.
Ham started his coaching career immediately after retiring from the Development League. He would later take up different assistant roles in the NBA, with his most recent role being that of the lead assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 NBA Champions. In 2022, he made a huge step in his career by taking the head coach position of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Darvin Ham Biography Summary
- Full Name: Darvin Ham Sr.
- Date of Birth: July 23, 1973
- Place of Birth: Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
- Ethnicity: African American
- Nationality: American
- Education: Saginaw High School; Otero College, Texas Tech University
- Profession: Former Basketball Player, Basketball Coach
- Marital Status: Married
- Darvin Ham’s Wife: Deneitra Ham
- Children: Darvin Ham Jr.
- Parents: Wilmer Jones-Ham (mother)
- Height: 6 feet 7 inches
- Weight: 109 kg (240 lbs)
Darvin Ham is the Son of the First Female Mayor of Saginaw
Darvin Ham was born on July 23, 1973, in the city of Saginaw, Michigan. Much about his father is not known but his mother, Wilmer Jones-Ham, made headlines in 2001 when she became the first female mayor of Saginaw. She served for four years.
Ham is believed to have had a normal childhood but details of his early life are not clear. It is only known that he attended Saginaw High School.
He Gained National Attention as a College Basketball Player
Ham aspired to have an athletic career and so worked towards it from a young age. After graduating from Saginaw High, he spent a year at Otero College in La Junta, Colorado before joining Texas Tech University to play for its Red Raiders team. It was during Darvin’s time at Texas Tech, in his last year in college, that he gained national attention for shattering the backboard in a slam dunk contest.
The incident happened during the 1996 NCAA Tournament and the dunk was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He would go on to win the dunk contest before starting his professional career.
— Darvin Ham Jr (@CoachHam92) July 21, 2021
Darvin Ham went Undrafted in 1996
Despite the buzz that his dunk created around him, Darvin Ham was overlooked at the 1996 NBA Draft. He would however still manage to land a team as he signed for the Denver Nuggets as a free agent.
Darvin Ham’s time with the Nuggets was quite short as the team traded him in 2007 to the Indiana Pacers. He would then go on to start a journeyman career that would see him play for the Washington Wizards (1997-1998), Milwaukee Bucks (1999-2002), Atlanta Hawks (2002-2003), and Detroit Pistons (2003-2005) over the following years. He, however, won the NBA title as a part of the 2004 Pistons team.
In between Darvin’s time with the Wizards and the Bucks, he moved overseas to Spain to play for CB Granada. In 2006, he played in the Philippine Basketball Association for TNT Tropang Giga before returning stateside to play in the Development League for the Alburquerque Thunderbirds and Austin Toros. Ham would ten call time on his playing career in 2008.
Ham Became a Coach in 2008
Darvin Ham’s first coaching job was as an assistant coach for the Thunderbirds. He was later named the team’s head coach in 2010. After about a year in the position, he became an assistant coach on the Los Angeles Lakers in October 2011, serving under Mike Brown.
Ham stayed with the Lakers for two years before joining the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff in 2013. Under coach Mike Budenholzer, he played a key role in helping the team make deep playoff runs and also develop its starting players. Ham remained with the team until 2018 when he followed Budenholzer to the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant. As he did with the Hawks, he is noted to have done a great job in helping Milwaukee achieve long evaded success. His time with the team saw him win his second NBA Championship.
— Darvin Ham Jr (@CoachHam92) January 8, 2022
On 27th May 2022, it was announced that Darvin Ham had left the Bucks to take up his first head coach position with the Lakers, a team he served as an assistant on in the past. He signed a four-year contract.
Darvin Ham is Married and Has a Son Who is Also a Coach
Darvin Ham Sr. is happily married to Deneitra Ham. While details of their marriage are not public knowledge, it is known that the duo met while attending Texas Tech University. The couple made headlines in 2005 when Deneitra was arrested for domestic abuse. Despite her husband’s refusal to press charges, she was charged for hitting her husband on the head with a wine bottle. Deneitra pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year’s probation, an undisclosed fine, 30 hours of community service, and an anger management program.
Darvin and Deneitra’s marriage of over two decades has produced three sons; Darvin Ham Jr., Donovan Ham, and Dominic Ham. Darvin Jr. is the more popular one of the trio as he aspired to have a career as a basketball player. He played college basketball for Northwood University but was unable to make it as a professional. He has since taken up coaching as he was employed at Northwood as an assistant coach.