Arop named Director of Player Development at San Diego State

San Diego State head men’s basketball coach Brian Dutcher on Thursday announced the addition of Aguek Arop (ah-GW-ook ah-ROPE) to his staff. Arop will fill the role of director of player development and his addition completes the Aztecs 2023-24 staff.

“AG has been part of our program for five years and it’s always good to keep things in the family,” coach Dutcher said. “He has been an integral part of our program as a player and I’m excited to see him remain in the fold and grow as a coach and mentor for our players.”

“I’m thankful for the opportunity that Coach has given me,” Arop said, “and grateful to be able to give back to a program and fan base that has given me so much. Being able to stay in San Diego, a city I love, is a blessing. I want to thank the committee, my parents, family, all my friends, and above all, Jesus Christ. I’m excited to begin my career and continue to be an Aztec for Life.”

Arop’s responsibility to the program includes scouting, film preparation, camps and academics.

SDSU fans are very familiar with Arop, one of the most beloved student-athletes to compete on The Mesa in recent memory. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2022 and is working on completing a master’s degree in homeland security at San Diego State.

The native of Omaha, Neb., finished his five-year playing career at the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. A team captain in both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, he completed his career ranked No. 5 in conference victories (54), No. 6 in games played (135) and No. 7 in total victories (102) in the 102 years of SDSU men’s basketball.

In his time at San Diego State, and outside his playing career, Arop has been an assistant coach in the team’s camps working with local high school students on game and life skills. In 2018 and 2019, in Dallas, he was a mentorship leader for South Sudanese High School Basketball, and from October 2022 to June 2023 was a Red Cross Disaster Duty Officer, working with the organization to determine levels of response to local disasters.  In addition, from 2020-23, Arop was part of the Newman Center leadership team. The Newman Center is part of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego which reaches out to the students at San Diego State University and has been actively ministering to the campus for over 40 years.

Arop arrived in America’s Finest City out of Omaha South High in Nebraska and The Skill Factory in Atlanta, Georgia.

While at Omaha South, Arop was named the 2016 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year after leading the Packers to a Class A state title and 28-1 record. He averaged 15.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocked shots, while shooting 61.8 percent from the floor enroute to being named an all-Metro Conference first-team selection and honorary captain by the Omaha World-Herald.

A season later, in 2016-17, Arop led Nebraska’s Class A in points (17.1) and rebounds (9.8), and again led Omaha South to the state tournament where it advanced to the semifinals. For his efforts, he earned all-Metro first-team accolades for the second straight year.

The two-time all-Nebraska selection spent the 2017-18 season at The Skill Factory, a prep school outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The wing helped his team to a 44-6 record and averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. His scoring and rebounding averages were the tops ­­­­on the squad.

Arop replaces JD Pollock, who held the position for the past six seasons.

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