Natalie Nakase (nah-KAH-say) joined the Aces as an assistant coach on Feb. 24, 2022. She brought with her a wealth of experience on the professional level in writing up scouting reports, game planning, film work and player development after spending the previous decade as part of the Los Angeles Clippers organization.

Over her first two years in Las Vegas, Nakase helped head coach Becky Hammon steer the Aces to back-to-back WNBA championships and the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup title. With Nakase on the sideline, the Aces compiled a 60-16 record and went 16-3 in the playoffs.

Prior to joining the Aces, Nakase most recently was as an assistant coach under Tyronn Lue for the Agua Caliente Clippers in the G League. She began working for Los Angeles in 2012 as an intern under Vinny Del Negro, later becoming the team’s assistant video coordinator for Doc Rivers. In 2017, she spent one year as an Agua Caliente assistant under Casey Hill, before becoming the player development/assistant coach for the LA Clippers for three seasons.

Nakase was a walk-on at UCLA and played her way into the starting lineup at point guard and team captain for three seasons.

After graduation, she played professionally for two years in the NWBL with the San Jose Spiders and San Diego Siege. Nakase also spent one season in Germany, but a knee injury ended her playing career.

She chose to remain in Germany, beginning her coaching career as the head coach of the Wolfenbüttel Wildcats (2008-10), and later traveled to Japan to work for a professional men’s team, the Tokyo Apache (2010-11). The following season, Nakase joined the Saitama Broncos staff, taking over as head coach midway through the year, making her the first female head coach in the league’s history.