Like many coaches, Jordi Fernandez is a teacher at heart. This summer, the Nuggets assistant coach is tasked with coaching, or teaching, basketball to 16 players, many of whom have never played with one another before. The Nuggets’ practice court is his classroom.

Before he accepted a player development position with the Cavaliers in 2009, Fernandez was working towards his Ph.D. in sports psychology after getting his masters in the same field. He already has a bachelor’s degree in sports sciences. Fernandez was coaching on the side while teaching college courses in Norway when the Cavs called and offered him a full-time job on their player development staff. He’s published two articles that appear in academic journals and is one away from his Ph.D.

“When I get fired I’ll finish it,” Fernandez said.

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Harrison Wind is the Denver Nuggets beat reporter for DNVR Nuggets. The University of Colorado alum grew up in Boulder and has covered the Nuggets for the last three seasons. You can hear him every weekday on the DNVR Nuggets podcast. Follow Harrison on Twitter - @HarrisonWind