James (Scoonie) Penn has been named Ohio State’s director of player development, Chris Holtmann, Ohio State first-year head coach, announced Tuesday. Penn was a letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 1999-2000 and garnered second team All-America honors in 2000.
“We are really excited about Scoonie being a part of our staff,” Holtmann said. “All of Buckeye Nation will know that he is one of the all-time great players and ambassadors of our program. His connection to past and present players is impressive and something I was looking for in this position. He is such an accomplished player and I know his passion for Ohio State basketball is as strong as ever. Please join me in welcoming back Scoonie, his wife Nancy, son Dominiq, and daughters Precious, Jaidien and Jenesis.”
Penn, who played two seasons at Ohio State after transferring from Boston College, was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 1999 and was a two-time first team All-Big Ten pick. The Salem, Mass., native captained the Buckeyes and was named team Co-MVP both seasons. In his two seasons, Penn averaged 16.3 points and 4.1 rebounds to go along with 284 assists for the Buckeyes. He ranks 46th all-time in scoring at Ohio State with 1,076 points and his 123 points scored in NCAA Tournament play rates seventh in program history.
“I want to thank Coach Holtmann for giving me this opportunity,” Penn said. “I am very excited to be a part of the basketball staff at Ohio State. I’ve always felt like coaching was a calling of mine and there isn’t a better place to have a chance to learn than the university that I attended and care so much about. It’s going to be fun to learn from Coach Holtmann and the rest of the staff.”
Penn, who was voted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013, was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft and spent his entire playing career overseas. He played 11 seasons in Europe for teams in Italy, Croatia and Greece, averaging 11.4 points, 2.8 assists and 2.6 boards per contest.