Jason Hart Basketball Coach Reported to be Joining Kentucky Staff

Jason Hart Basketball

So, Jason Hart basketball coach is reported to be joining the Kentucky staff as a primary assistant. A Sea of Blue and other outlets made the report yesterday. If it comes to fruition, this will be a huge addition to Coach Pope’s staff as they gear up for the 2024-25 college basketball season. We’ll take a look at Coach Hart’s playing and coaching background. All as we wait for the news to be officially confirmed over the coming days. If you want to follow Coach on X (Twitter), his profile is here

Jason Hart Basketball Playing Career (College)

So, Jason Hart played D-I men’s basketball at Syracuse University. He was the first freshman to ever lead the Big East Conference in minutes played. His freshman year was the season after Pope’s 96 Wildcats defeated Syracuse for the 1996 Men’s D-I championship. After his freshman year, he would go on to be Syracuse’s all-time leader in steals and second in assists. He earned selections to Big East All-First and Syracuse All-Century teams. 

Jason Hart Basketball Career (Professional)

Jason Hart went on to the NBA after his college career. He played with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2000-01 season. Hart spent 01-2 in the NBDL with Asheville and played for the Spurs for a 10 game contract. He went to the Greek A1 League in 02-03, and came back to San Antonio for 2003-04 playing in 53 games. Hart would play for a number of teams (Bobcats, Kings, Clippers, Jazz, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Hornet) through 2010. His final NBA game was on February 10th, 2010 against the Boston Celtics. 

Jason Hart’s Coaching Career

After Jason’s playing career finished, he initially coached AAU and was the head coach at Taft High School in LA. From there, Pepperdine hired him as an assistant coach on May 12, 2021. It didn’t take too long for USC to hire him in 2013 under Coach Andy Enfield. Then, in 2021 he moved to the professional coaching ranks and took over as head coach of the NBA G League Ignite. The Ignite serve as a developmental team for players that are not draft eligible yet, but are looking for an avenue to prepare for the NBA other than the “One and Done” route at college. 

Why Did the NBA Sundown the Ignite G-League Team? 

So, for those that don’t follow a ton of NBA news, the 2023-24 basketball season was the last one for the Ignite. The NBA announced on March 21st, that the decision came with the crazy changes in the basketball landscape. Mostly the NIL (Name Image and Likeness) policy changes, transfer portal rules changes, and the birth of collectives at the major schools. The 2023-24 Ignite roster featured a ton of talent to include projected top draft picks, Ron Holland and Matas Buzelis. There are nine Ignite veteran players currently in the NBA. Some of the better-known ones are: Jonathan Kuminga (Golden State Warriors), Jalen Green (Houston Rockets), Dyson Daniels (New Orleans Pelicans), and Scoot Henderson (Portland Trail Blazers). 

Why is the Addition of Coach Hart a Big Deal for Kentucky? 

Adding Coach Hart is huge for Big Blue Nation fans. Not only has he “been there and done that” like Coach Pope, but he has coached professional players for a while now. He has a huge reputation across all basketball circles. Add in the fact that he has a reputation as a great recruiter too, and I know I’m excited for the news to get confirmed. All as Coach Pope continues to get the band together for the 2024-25 Kentucky basketball season. 

Coach Hart Mic’d Up at USC

It’s a fairly short clip, but you can check out Coach Hart in action when he was at USC. 

Will Lewis

Have been covering sports of all types for more than 18 years. March Madness is my favorite time of year before we hit the NBA and NHL playoffs. Will is a lifelong Kentucky Wildcats fan and rooted for the Bengals way back when Joe Montana dashed our hopes and dreams. Now a Padres fan as well. He covers all sports here at Sports Brackets.

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