Washington Wizards

Address: 601 F St. NW Washington, DC 20004
Arena Name: Verizon Center
Phone: (202) 628-3200

Navin Hettiarachchi

Education: West Virginia Wesleyan College (B.S.); The United States Sports Academy (M.S.)
Hometown: Sri Lanka
NBATA Member Since: 2003
Navin Hettiarachchi is the Director of Athletic Performance/Strength and Conditioning for the Washington Wizards. He has been with the team since 2003, when he first served as the assistant athletic trainer, providing treatment to injured non-traveling athletes at home games. As the Director of Athletic Performance/Strength and Conditioning, Hettiarachchi is responsible for designing and implementing year-round strength, conditioning and injury preventative programs, with the purpose of optimizing the overall athletic performance of the Wizards players. Hettiarachchi believes in training hard and smart, enabling players to maintain their best health and highest performance both on and off the court.

Hettiarachchi maximizes the athletic performance of the Wizards players by combining strength and conditioning exercises and injury prevention techniques with a systematic, results-driven approach to performance training and rehabilitation. Instead of relying on a single technique, Hettiarachchi combines his knowledge from a variety of disciplines with evidence-based practices to create a unique and innovative treatment approach, enabling each athlete to receive the most situationally appropriate treatment. Hettiarachchi holds a special interest in assessing movement quality as an essential component to injury reduction and performance optimization.

Prior to this position, he served nine seasons as the Washington Mystics head athletic trainer and head strength and conditioning coach. His responsibilities included all aspects of medical care/sports medicine, rehabilitation, and sports performance for the team. Additionally, from 2001-2003, Hettiarachchi worked with the Washington Redskins during their mini-camps, pre-season training, and home games. Hettiarachchi has also served as the head athletic trainer for the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation (STAR) Clinic from 2000-2012. This post affords him the opportunity to treat a more diverse patient population with a variety of injuries.

Hettiarachchi earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master’s Degree in Sports Medicine from The United States Sports Academy. He has learned and trained under world renowned physical therapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths, and has earned multiple certifications in the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, including Advanced Sports Rehabilitation (CASR) and Spinal Manual Therapy. He also holds a Master Certification in Manual Therapy (MCMT) and a graduate diploma in Manipulative Therapy (Dip MT). Hettiarachchi is a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES), and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Hettiarachchi is the first Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) Postural Restoration Trained (PRT) Athletic Trainer in Washington DC and the NBA. Hettiarachchi has also traveled to countries such as Australia, England, India, Ireland, and Thailand in order to continue his professional development. A native of Sri Lanka, Hettiarachchi currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his fiancée and can often be found on the National Mall playing cricket, flag football, rugby, soccer, or basketball.

Jeff Bangs

Head Athletic Trainer
Education: West Chester University
Hometown: Southampton, PA
NBATA Member Since: 2017
Jeff began his career as the full Season Athletic Training intern for the Washington Wizards prior to the 2016-2017 NBA Season. Before interning with the Wizards, he spent three summers interning with the Philadelphia Eagles football team and helping out the Miami Heat during NBA Summer League. Being from the Greater Philadelphia area and being a diehard Eagles fan, it was a dream come true for Jeff to serve as an intern for the Eagles.

Jeff attended West Chester University, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 2015. While at West Chester, Jeff’s clinical responsibilities were General Athletic Training Room (GATR), women’s field hockey, women’s softball and a local high school football team.

Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Jeff gained an interest in athletic training after fracturing his tibia playing football and without and athletic trainer there the football teams’ coaches completely mishandled every part of the situation. Longtime family friend, Jay Sabol, Head Athletic Trainer of the Miami Heat, was a major influence for Jeff and “showed him the ropes” within the profession.

Jeff currently lives in the Columbia Heights area of Washington D.C.