Egg Harbor Township resident Rob Fishbein and his blended family of seven have always been around sports.

Fishbein, who grew up in Margate, was a wide receiver and quarterback at Holy Spirit high school in Absecon. He was a catcher during his baseball days and a point guard on the basketball court, going on to play collegiality for Atlantic Cape Community College.

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After his playing days, Fishbein went on to coach.

"I coached football for 12 years with the Ventnor Pirates and semipro teams in the area."

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He coached all levels of basketball for 20 years, from first graders through the high school levels.

Coaching is in Fishbein's blood, it's something he has always done and now he is coaching professional basketball.

This summer, he signed on as an assistant coach and trainer with the new Atlantic City Seagulls basketball team of the American Basketball Association.

Fishbein is legendary with the locals around Margate for his 5:30 AM beach workouts, where he and his wife Nancy had been training many of the players on the current Seagulls roster for years. He was approached by Atlantic City owner Darin Akers and general manager Lenny Cooke about working for the team.

"I was definitely interested," Fishbein said.

Fishbein joined the team and after just a few games it was apparent he was the right man for the job.  After a key road game against a very tough Baltimore team, Fishbein, who had been putting in the team's offensive and defensive sets, shined some key moments during the team's 127-114 win over the Hawks. After the game, the decision was made to elevate him to head coach.

In his first game as head coach, the Seagulls beat the New Jersey Knights 136-122 on Sunday.

On the basketball court, Fishbein preaches a defense-first mentality, with an aggressive nature.

"I love to press," Fishbein admitted. "Every loose ball I expect my guys to be hitting the floor and getting 50-50 balls."

Fishbein credits four local coaches for molding him, Atlantic City boys head coach Gene Allen, Atlantic City head girls's coach Jason Lantz, Atlantic City assisant Elijah Lankford and former Holy Spirit head coach Jamie Gillespie

"I love coach Allen's aggressive approach to every game and Coach Gillespie's offensive approach against any defense," Fishbein stated.  "I talk basketball with these guys a lot."

Fishbein also credits former Atlantic City basketball star Tori Cavalieri for his coaching style.

"He has a great mind," Fishbein said.

Apparently, others are seeing the Fishbein has a great mind as well.

The Seagulls play their home games at the Pleasantville Recreation Center and feature many former Cape-Atlantic League talents.

Their next home game is this Saturday against the Atlantic Coast Cardinals at 7 PM at the Pleasantville Recreation Center.

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