Dr. Ramsey Nijem Named Kansas Men’s Basketball Director of Sport Performance


Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Dr. Ramsey Nijem, Sc.D, has been named Men’s Basketball Director of Sport Performance at the University of Kansas, KU head coach Bill Self announced Wednesday.Ramsey Nejim headshot Kings

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Nijem (pronounced Nigh-jum) comes to Kansas after working the previous five years with the Sacramento Kings of the NBA where he managed all aspects of sport performance.

Nijem was the NBA’s youngest head strength and conditioning coach. He spent the last three years as the team’s head strength and conditioning coach. In that role, Nijem directed strength and conditioning, sport science and nutrition with the objective of supporting athlete health, wellness and performance.

The San Francisco Bay area native spent two seasons as the Kings assistant strength and conditioning coach prior to being named head strength and conditioning coach.

“We are excited Ramsey will be joining our staff as our director of sport performance,” Self said. “Having the doctorate and academic background he has, Ramsey should fit very nicely, not only with the men’s basketball program but also with the future of Kansas Team Health. At 28, he’s the youngest head strength coach in the NBA and comes very highly regarded by his peers. He will bring an academic element along with energy, toughness and a track record of working with professional athletes that will also aid us in recruiting.”

Before joining the Kings, Nijem was the head strength and conditioning coach at Santa Barbara City College and prior to that, he worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at UC Santa Barbara.

“It is an honor and privilege to join the tradition of Kansas basketball,” Nejim said. “I am excited to work alongside Hall of Fame coach Bill Self and his staff while supporting the development of the young men currently on the roster, and the Jayhawks to come. I look forward to working with Kansas Team Health to provide integrated performance services to the men’s basketball program and most importantly be a resource to the student-athletes on and off the court. I am thrilled to join the KU family and Lawrence community.”

Nijem earned his doctorate of science in human and sport performance from Rocky Mountain University Health Professions in 2018. He attained his masters of science sport performance degree from Cal State Fullerton in 2013 and his bachelors of arts communication, exercise and health sciences degree from UC Santa Barbara in 2012.

“Ramsey will be a strong addition to KU basketball and our model of student-athlete care,” said Jeff Long, Director of Athletics. “I believe he is an ideal fit because he has earned a doctorate in his field of study and has trained at the highest level of basketball. We’re excited to get him to Lawrence to work with our men’s basketball student-athletes and be an integral part of Kansas Team Health.”

Nijem is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Associate as a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach and Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is also certified as a USA Weightlifting Performance Coach by USAW and is a Precision Nutrition Coach. Nijem has published research in top scientific journals in strength and conditioning.

Self said Nijem will tie up loose ends in Sacramento this week and plans to report to KU on Monday, Sept. 9.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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