May 12, 2012, 12:12 PM EDT
Pepperdine has hired former Syracuse standout and nine-year NBA veteran Jason Hart, the school announced Saturday morning.
Hart played for nine NBA teams in his career at the pro level, averaging 4.8 points per game. His best season came in 2004-05 with Charlotte, when he averaged nine points and five rebounds per game.
“I am excited to have Jason join our basketball family,” Pepperdine head coach Marty Wilson said in a statement. “His experiences as a player at the highest level will bring a unique benefit to our program. Jason is a young man that has proven that hard work and persistence will pay off and I know that his messages will be well received by our players.”
Hart is a native of the Los Angeles area, having played at Inglewood and Westchester High Schools, before committing to Syracuse.
He graduated from Syracuse in 2000 as the school’s all-time steals leader and with the second most assists in Orange history. He was selected to the All-Big East first team during his senior season.
Since his retirement in 2010, he has coached on the AAU circuit and at Taft High School (Calif.). He led Taft to a 29-4 record this past season and the Los Angeles City Section Division I title.
“Growing up in Los Angeles, I used to hear about Pepperdine being really good,” said Hart in the release. “I know they’ve had some tough times but Coach Wilson and his staff are excited about the direction of the program, and I want to be part of something special they’re building.”
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