Penney joins UVA Basketball Staff

Former University of Wisconsin and New Zealand basketball star Kirk Penney has been named Director of Player Development/Coaching Staff Consultant at Virginia, Dean and Markel Families Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Bennett announced Tuesday (August 13).

Penney starred at Wisconsin from 1999-2003 before enjoying a 15-year professional career. He helped the Badgers to the 2000 NCAA Final Four under the direction of Bennett’s father, Dick Bennett, and became the first Badger since 1952 to earn consecutive All-Big Ten first-team honors in 2002 and 2003. Penney helped the Badgers to a pair of Big Ten titles during his all-league seasons, and Wisconsin advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003. Tony Bennett was on staff during each of Penney’s four seasons at Wisconsin, including three seasons as an assistant coach from 2001-03.

Penney represented New Zealand at two Olympic Games (2000 and 2004) and four FIBA World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014). He was part of the Tall Blacks’ memorable fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, averaging 16.9 points per game and shooting 45.5 percent from 3-point range. Penney was the second-leading scorer at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, averaging 24.7 points per game. He ranks 10th all-time in scoring at the FIBA World Cup (formerly known as the FIBA World Championships), scoring 447 points in 27 games (16.6 ppg).

Penney became the second New Zealand native to play in the NBA, appearing with the Miami Heat in 2003 and Los Angeles Clippers in 2005. He also played professionally in Spain, Israel, Lithuania, Germany, Turkey and Australia. Penney attended Westlake Boys High School in Auckland, New Zealand, the same high school as former Virginia captain Jack Salt.

“I am excited to reunite with Kirk and add him to the Virginia basketball family,” Bennett said. “I have known Kirk for over 20 years and have tremendous respect for him as a person, player and coach. He will make an immediate impact with our program with his knowledge and experience. We are thrilled to welcome Kirk, his wife, Audra, and children, Olivia, Ava and Ben to Charlottesville.”

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