Jesperson hired as Director of Player Development and Assistant Basketball Coach at Oklahoma

 University of Oklahoma head men’s basketball coach Porter Moser announced the addition of Paul Jesperson as director of player development and assistant coach.

Jesperson joins the Sooners after three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, serving as player development coach for two seasons from 2021-23 and assistant video coordinator during the 2020-21 campaign.

“Paul brings a wealth of NBA experience from his time with the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant and player development coach,” said Moser. “He was instrumental in developing top talent at the highest level. His knowledge of the NBA will help prepare our players to excel on the court and position them for a professional basketball career.”

During the 2022-23 campaign, the Hawks ranked third in the NBA in free throw percentage (81.8%) and points per game (118.4 PPG). Atlanta ranked sixth in the league in points per outing (113.9) in his first season on the sidelines in 2021-22. Former Oklahoma point guard Trae Young was named a 2021-22 NBA All-Star and to the Kia All-NBA third team.

“My wife and I are excited to be a part of the University of Oklahoma and coach Moser’s staff,” said Jesperson. “Coach has proven that he produces winning players and championship teams. Oklahoma has a rich basketball tradition and I look forward to pouring into our student-athletes to achieve all of their goals both on and off the court.”

Before his coaching career, Jesperson played collegiately at Virginia (2011-13) and Northern Iowa (2013-16), appearing in 127 career games and making 69 starts. The Merrill,“` Wis., product averaged 10.8 points per outing as a senior at UNI and shot 42.8% (130-304) from the floor, 39.6% (82-207) from three and 88.5% (46-52) from the free throw line. He finished his career shooting 41.4% (268-648) from the floor, 39.1% (179-458) from deep and 86.4% (76-88) from the line.

During the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Jesperson banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer to give No. 11 seed UNI a 75-72 victory over No. 6 seed Texas in the first round.

He prepped at Merrill High School and was the 2011 Wisconsin Associated Press and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. During the 2010-11 campaign, Jesperson averaged 22.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per outing. He finished his high school career as Merrill’s all-time leading scorer with 1,696 points and established a school record 96 consecutive starts.

Jesperson joins Clay Custer (assistant coach), Ryan Humphrey (assistant coach), Armon Gates (assistant coach) and Brock Morris (director of player personnel/assistant coach) on staff.

The Sooners open the regular season on Nov. 6 against Central Michigan at Lloyd Noble Center.

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