Killings finalizes staff at Albany

University at Albany men’s basketball head coach Dwayne Killings has filled out his staff with three additional hires.  Joining Killings’ inaugural staff is Dannton Jackson, Dan Madhavapallil, and KJ Baptiste.  The new personnel arrive two weeks following Killings’ first hires in assistant coaches Hamlet Tibbs and Matt Griffin.
Jackson joins the staff as Killings’ final assistant coach.  He spent the previous four years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  As an assistant coach at UAB, Jackson guided the program to an NCAA 25th ranked defense with 4.9 blocks per game during the 2016-17 season.  He also coached junior forward William Lee to consecutive Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors.  In his four-year tenure as an assistant at UAB, the team went 76-57 from 2016-20.
Before his time at UAB, Jackson spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans and accumulated a 294-130 career record.  The Gold Rush won five regular-season championships and he guided the team to six-straight NAIA Division I National Championship appearances.
Before his time as head coach began in 2002, he served as an assistant before a promotion to associate head coach in the 2001-02 season.  While at Xavier, he also served as an assistant coach on the women’s basketball team from 1993-97, head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams from 1994-96, and interim athletic director in 2004 and 2013-14.
Jackson is a native of Los Angeles and graduated from Xavier in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and added his Master’s degree in Educational Administration in 1996. He was also a basketball letterman during his time as a student at Xavier.
Madhavapallil comes to UAlbany having previously worked with Killings at Marquette, where he was the director of basketball operations, and will fill the same roll for the Great Danes.  Madhavapallil worked nine total seasons at Marquette, beginning as a team manager during his freshman year, a position he worked all-four years he as a student.  He was promoted to a program assistant position from 2016-18, where he assisted in scouting reports, summer camps and coordinated team travel.
Baptiste, Jr. joins the team as the director of recruiting and video.  He last served as a graduate assistant manager with the Penn State men’s program from 2019-21.  While at Penn State, Baptiste, Jr. covered player development, recruiting, scouting, and administrative scheduling/planning for the team, contributing to a historically high-achieving Penn State team in 2019-20 that finished with a 21-10 record.
Before joining Penn State, Baptiste, Jr. served as an Assistant Coach for the Brimmer and May School varsity boys’ basketball program from 2016 to 2018.  There, he spearheaded development at the school through various channels, working through recruiting and networking to build a consistently better team.  He worked with players on skill development, maintaining accurate statistics to improve weight training and fitness program effectiveness, and developed numerous future college athletes.
Baptiste, Jr. is also the CEO and founder of KJ’s Summer Runs, which he created in May of 2019. KJ’s Summer Runs coordinates summer basketball pick-up games for top-level collegiate and professional athletes, located in the greater Boston area. Current NBA players who have played in the Summer Runs include Marcus Smart, Bruno Fernando, Duncan Robinson, Bruce Brown, and Carson Edwards.
Baptiste, Jr. graduated from Brandeis University, where he played college basketball, in 2018 with a B.A. in Sociology. He is anticipating earning a MPS in Psychology of Leadership from Penn State this spring.

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