Lorenzo Nathan knew he wanted to coach basketball after he got out of the U.S. Army last year.
So, two months before he would be medically retired because of an injury to his left arm, Nathan, 28, of San Diego called USC Coach Kevin O'Neill and asked if he could shadow him.
O'Neill gets a lot of those calls, but this time he said yes. "I don't know why I ended up following up with him," O'Neill said.
Since then, the former staff sergeant has attended practice regularly and also shares stories with the team.
"He puts everything in perspective," guard Dwight Lewis said.
On Wednesday, as a sign of gratitude, Nathan gave O'Neill a framed guidon of the cavalry scout, Nathan's previous Army job. "I'm very flattered," O'Neill said.