FIBer Sergi Oliva, new assistant coach of the Utah Jazz

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Oliva had been the Philadelphia 76ers' vice president of strategy until now.

Sergi Oliva, a computer engineer from the Barcelona School of Informatics and a doctorate in Computer Science, has become Quin Snyder's new assistant coach on the Utah Jazz basketball team of the American professional league. This Catalan originally from Gelida, a town in Barcelona, began her NBA career in 2014 as an operations analyst for the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2016, he was appointed director of analytics and innovation for the Sixers team, to end up becoming its vice president of strategy in 2019.

Before working for the Philadelphia team, Sergi Oliva was a researcher at the UPC and received a doctorate in Computational Complexity. Oliva also trained amateur teams for twelve years in Catalonia, being the CB Hortonenc of the Catalan Third Division League the last one that the FIBer from Gelida led before succeeding in the NBA. However, the brand new assistant coach of the Utah Jazz has continued to collaborate with training development programs within the Catalan Basketball Federation, particularly as a lecturer in their coaching certification courses.

Oliva speaks in an interview with the newspaper “Ara” about his role as assistant coach and how he applies his technical knowledge on the pitch, explaining that “our perspective improves and broadens conventional observation. There are things we can reliably answer. In addition, we guide the coach to ask the right questions to improve performance. If the team does not work in rebounds, you have to know what data can be useful to detect where the problem is and change that trend”.

Last 2018, Sergi Oliva gave a conference at the School of Mathematics and Statistics that was co-organized by the Barcelona School of Informatics and the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering within the framework of the Bachelor's Degree in Data Science and Engineering at the UPC. It was entitled "Quantitative Methods in Sports: Evolution and Application", and it is available on YouTube.

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