ND's Ben Hansbrough begins next phase of basketball career

Irish Stew

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

The chase has officially ended for former Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough.

Having spent one season (2012-13) in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, the 2011 Big East player of the year spent the better part of three years trying to get back to the game's elite level.

Hansbrough has decided to move on to the next phase of his basketball life, one that he believes will include coaching. On Monday, Hansbrough was named coordinator of player development at Western Kentucky University. According to a university release, Hansbrough will assist Hilltoppers head coach Ray Harper's team with "academics, mentoring and film study."

Hansbrough's one year in the NBA saw him appear in 28 games for the Pacers. He averaged 2.0 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 7.1 minutes per game. In the fall of 2014, Hansbrough was released by the Chicago Bulls during training camp. He spent much of the last two years playing with two different teams professionally in Spain after a quick stint in the NBA Development League last season with the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Drive.

Hansbrough told the Tribune during a July interview that his playing days were quickly coming to a close.

"It's time to go a different direction and get into coaching," Hansbrough said.

Hansbrough also interviewed for a graduate coaching position with Rick Barnes at Tennessee.

A member of Conference USA, Western Kentucky went 20-12 overall last season, 12-6 in league play. The Hilltoppers open the 2015-16 season Nov. 14 against Campbellsville (Ky.). University. Western's regular season also includes road games against Louisville and Xavier.

Former Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough, who spent one season in the NBA, was hired Monday as coordinator of player development at Western Kentucky University.AP File Photo