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Orlando Magic Season Preview: Meet the New Talent on the Team

Orlando Magic preseason game at the Amway Center

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The start of the new 2021-2022 NBA season brings fresh hope, optimism and excitement for Orlando Magic players, coaches and fans alike. The endless array of possibilities and new successes on the horizon will fill not only the Amway Center but the entire Central Florida area with an electric buzz of positive energy.

With the promise of new players and coaches, combined with the expertise of AdventHealth in the Magic’s corner as the Official Health Care Provider, this choose-your-own-adventure journey of a season is sure to ignite the passions of our community.  

The Magic Welcome New Head Coach Jamahl Mosley

It's hard not to get caught up in the excitement with all the new additions to the Magic this season. And it all starts at the top with new Head Coach Jamahl Mosley. Coach Mosley played his college ball for the University of Colorado Buffalos before heading abroad to play professionally in Mexico, Australia, Finland and South Korea.

He then returned home and began his coaching career in the NBA as an assistant for the Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. With such a diverse resume, Coach Mosley is sure to bring a dynamic approach to his new role with the Magic.

“My offensive philosophy is simple; I want to keep it as simple as possible,” says Mosley. “I want to play with pace, I want to play with space, and I want to play with the pass. I think the pass brings energy to the game and allows people to be at their best. I want to put these guys in the best positions to succeed.”

“Defensively, I want to be a tough, talkative, high-level communication team,” says Mosley, who spent the final three of his seven seasons in Dallas as the organization’s defensive coordinator. “And then tied together defensively to be disruptive, to take teams out of their sets and their comfort zone.”

New Talent and Returning Veterans for the Upcoming Season

Coach Mosley is not coming into a new team this season with a bare cupboard. The Magic had two picks in the top eight of this year’s draft. Selecting Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs with the fifth overall pick and Michigan’s Franz Wagner with the eighth pick, Mosely gets his chance to mold a couple of dynamic young players into his vision for the team.

Suggs famously hit a half-court shot to send Gonzaga to the championship game in last year’s NCAA Final Four. But that explosive highlight doesn’t overshadow his impressive 2021 collegiate season with the Bulldogs, where he was Second Team All-American, West Coast Conference First Team and Tournament MVP.

Wagner, born in Germany, was Big 10 All-Freshman Team in 2020. He joins his brother Moritz “Moe” Wagner on the Magic this year to bring some international family flair to the City Beautiful’s basketball scene.

Along with Suggs and Wagner, there is a bevy of veteran talent along for the ride as well. Newcomer Robin Lopez joins the team, along with returning players such as Terrance Ross, Michael Carter Williams, Cole Anthony, Wendall Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba. That doesn’t include returning standouts Marquez Fultz and Jonathan Isaac, who are both recovering from ACL injuries  and will rejoin the team later this season.

Meet Dr. Tariq Awan, the Magic’s Official Team Doctor

Fultz and Isaac, as well as the entire Magic roster, won’t have to face their injuries alone. AdventHealth’s Tariq Awan, DO, will serve as the official team doctor. Dr. Awan is a board-certified family medicine and sports medicine physician with a special focus on musculoskeletal care and advanced techniques in managing overuse conditions and arthritis.

Dr. Tariq is no stranger to working with high-level athletes. After his fellowship, Dr. Awan accepted a position with the Detroit Medical Center, where he was part of the team that provided care for the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings. He served as full-time team physician for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings for three years before joining the University of Michigan, where he treated student-athletes in multiple intercollegiate sports and was a team physician for men’s hockey.

Dr. Awan says, “I always wanted to work in sports. When I realized my athletic career wouldn’t advance past high school, I turned my attention to sports medicine. I thought working with athletes and treating injuries and medical issues were the perfect blend for me.”

He continues, “I like to focus on how the partnership with the Magic can benefit the community and help promote the AdventHealth mission of wellness and a healthy lifestyle. So many of the medical issues we see today have a lifestyle component to their causes and prevention — heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, to name a few.”

“Eating right and exercise can be the best medicine. And this commitment is universal: it translates to high school athletes, weekend warriors, all the way to the professional level. I think it's a really powerful message that can be taken to the community.”

Looking Forward to a Thrilling New Season

With such exciting new additions to the Magic with coaches, rookies and veterans alike, team President of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman, is all in on the new season ahead.

“There is no doubt that this is a new day for the Orlando Magic, and we have a host of very talented, high-character, young players who are excited about playing with one another and have been brought into this league the right way,” says Weltman.

“We had the flexibility and extra picks, and now have a coach to be the point of the spear and really align them, define roles and develop them in a way that will translate to winning.”

The upcoming season brings an opportunity to build upon last year's growth with a new coach and a slew of talented new and returning players. There is a genuine excitement for what this team can bring to the court. And along the way, AdventHealth will be there in lockstep, with Dr. Awan helping the Magic stay healthy and feel whole. Click here  to learn more about AdventHealth’s winning partnership with the Magic.

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