If indeed a village is what it takes to raise a child, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday continued fortifying its community surrounding Russell Westbrook. The Thunder completed its assistant coaching staff by hiring former Portland and Philadelphia head coach Maurice Cheeks, a 15-year NBA point guard and four-time All-Star. Oklahoma City also brought in Rex Kalamian, who most recently served as an assistant in Sacramento and has had stints with Minnesota, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers. But it’s Cheeks, a 1983 NBA champion with the 76ers, who has the pedigree to help Westbrook reach his full potential. Cheeks played alongside renowned guards-turned-coaches Henry Bibby, Lionel Hollins and Al Skinner. He also played with World B. Free, Mark Jackson and Kenny Anderson and guided the careers of Allen Iverson, Andre Miller, Damon Stoudamire and Nick Van Exel as a head coach and Scott Skiles, Dana Barros and Eric Snow as an assistant. "We are thrilled to add Maurice and Rex to our coaching staff,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who teamed with Cheeks in 1988-89 in Philadelphia. "They bring a wealth of NBA experience and solid work ethic that will help our players’ continued development.” The Thunder has committed to Westbrook, last year’s fourth overall pick, as its lead guard of the future and has gone to great lengths this summer to support him in that role. Oklahoma City passed on Spanish point guard sensation Ricky Rubio in the June draft in favor of shooting guard James Harden, then signed 36-year-old veteran point guard Kevin Ollie on Aug. 1 largely to serve as a mentor to Westbrook. While Cheeks’ hire shouldn’t be interpreted solely as a move to speed Westbrook’s development, his presence should prove to be a mighty big boost in that department. Throughout his 11 seasons with Philadelphia, Cheeks teamed with basketball legends Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Charles Barkley. But Cheeks stood out, earning a spot on the All-Defensive First Team four times from 1983-86 and a spot on the second team in 1987. His poise, pass-first mentality and penchant for sound decisions turned him into a fan favorite and a key ingredient on a star-studded squad. He was also well-received for his polite nature, unselfish play and ball-hawking defense. When Cheeks retired in 1993, he ranked first on the NBA’s all-time steals list with 2,310 and fifth on the all-time assists list with 7,392. He now ranks fourth and 10th in those categories. Cheeks couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. But his next challenge in Oklahoma City will be putting his imprint on an impressionable Thunder roster that figures to open the season with one of the youngest rosters in the league. How much of his basketball sense he’s able to pass down to young guards like Westbrook could go a long way in determining how much the Thunder improves from a 23-win season. With Westbrook, Cheeks can help a ready-made player become even better. Cheeks knew how to play the angles. He shot 52.3 percent from the field for his career and never dipped below 46.2 percent for a season. Part of Westbrook’s improvement in Year Two must be his 39.9 percent shooting clip. Cheeks rarely turned the ball over, averaging just 2.1 over his 15 seasons. Westbrook gave it away 3.3 times last season. But Cheeks can also show Westbrook how he inflated his identical rookie assists average of 5.3 to 7.0 as a sophomore. How a second-year guard can go from the 1.3 steals Westbrook averaged as a rookie to the 2.3 Cheeks averaged in his second season. The Thunder expanded its village Friday by adding Cheeks. And Westbrook could benefit most.