Kevin Ollie spent last season in Oklahoma City helping to build a basketball culture. He’ll spend the next at least the next one in Connecticut, helping to rebuild another.
Ollie, a former reserve guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, told ESPN.com’s that he’ll join UConn coach Jim Calhoun’s staff as an assistant coach. Andy Katz is reporting that Ollie will send his retirement papers into the NBA office Friday.
Ollie played in only 25 games last season as the Thunder’s third-string point guard. His greatest contribution came from the example he showed the Thunder’s young stars. He was a full partner with Sam Presti and Scott Brooks in building the Thunder culture, supporting and counseling the likes of Russell Westbrook. His return to UConn, where he played from 1992-96 comes at a critical moment time for that program. Two members of Calhoun’s staff were forced to resign amid alleged NCAA recruiting violations. The Huskies have an Oct. 15-16 date with an NCAA infractions committee. Hiring Ollie won’t save UConn from penalties this time, but his character and qualifications — former NBA player, alumnus and foundational player at UConn — could help keep the Huskies out of trouble in the future.
Read Andy Katz’s story on Ollie here.