Giants great Eli Manning is now a fourth-grade basketball coach

Eli Manning is still calling plays one year into retirement.

He's just calling them for his daughter's fourth-grade basketball team.

The two-time Super Bowl champion and Giants legend is an assistant girl's basketball coach in New Jersey, according to NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt. His daughter Ava made the team after tryouts last October.

That's when head coach Kristine Nukk first approached the former quarterback about a role on her staff.

"He thought about it and he came back and he's like: 'I'm going to be the guy in charge of plays. I've been known to run a play or two in my life,'" Nukk told Rosenblatt. "So it worked great. He helped me out. He was my assistant coach. I'm almost embarrassed to say that Eli Manning was my assistant coach."

Manning didn't mind his title at all. In fact, he prepared to help like he was getting ready for an NFC East rival, readying playbook pages and substitutions for the team's first practice.

Once those practices began, Manning said he discovered his own coaching style. Former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gibride told Rosenblatt that Eli once "quasi-coached" younger teammates with serious intensity. With fourth graders, though, he found he was less of a Tom Coughlin-esque disciplinarian.

"I think I'm fair. Tough but fair," Manning told NJ Advance Media. "I'm not making them run laps. I don't require them to be five minutes early yet. But I appreciate the hard work and want them to work hard."

Nukk told Rosenblatt that Manning struck a "happy medium" of seriousness and fun, which was critical in a season altered by COVID-19. The competitor in him hasn't died off, but he always deferred to his head coach when crunch time came.

"He was amazing. If I did not know he played professional football, you'd never know," she said. "He's so down to earth. He was wonderful to coach with."

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