WKU men’s basketball head coach Rick Stansbury announced Monday the hiring of former BIG EAST Player of the Year and NBA pro Ben Hansbrough as an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season.
Hansbrough has spent the last two seasons as part of WKU’s support staff.
He spent the 2016-17 season as a graduate assistant manager, while he served as Coordinator of Player Development in 2015-16, assisting with academics, mentoring and film study, among other tasks.
“We’re excited to have Ben join our staff,” Stansbury said. “Naturally, I’ve known Ben for a long time, and he’s a young man that developed himself into a tremendous player and eventually an NBA guy through hard work. There’s not many people I respect more that have worked harder than Ben Hansbrough to become the player he became. That’s something that I want to be a part of our staff. He represents what I stand for and what I’m about – hard work.”
Hansbrough played two seasons for Stansbury and helped claim two SEC West Division titles at Mississippi State in 2006-07 and 2007-08 before transferring and finishing his career at Notre Dame in 2009-10 and 2010-11. At Mississippi State, he averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game over 65 career outings and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
After averaging 12.0 points per game in his first season at Notre Dame, Hansbrough exploded as a fifth-year senior and averaged 18.4 points per game en route to BIG EAST Player of the Year and second-team All-American honors.
“I’m grateful and blessed for the opportunity to both continually learn from a proven winner and great coach in Coach Stansbury, while also remaining here at Western Kentucky,” Hansbrough said. “Learning from a top-10 winningest coach of all-time in the SEC is a tremendous opportunity that I’m lucky to have with such a great mentor.
“Also, remaining in a program that has the 17th-most victories all-time in the history of the NCAA and the ninth-best winning percentage is a privilege and honor to represent. I look forward to the everyday challenge and opportunity.”
For his collegiate career, Hansbrough averaged 12.0 points per game, scored 1,613 career points, made 263 three-pointers while shooting 40.5 percent from distances and played in 134 games.
Hansbrough played in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers, where he appeared in 28 games in 2013-14 and averaged 7.1 minutes per contest. He also played several seasons overseas in Germany, Spain and Slovenia.
Hansbrough is the younger brother of NBA pro Tyler Hansbrough, who played college basketball at North Carolina.