Cheaney returns to IU in player development role

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana coach Mike Woodson hired Big Ten career scoring leader Calbert Cheaney as his new director of player development Tuesday.

Cheaney had spent the previous three seasons on the staff of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers.

It’s Cheaney’s second coaching round at his alma mater. He was the director of operations in 2011-12 and helped oversee the internal and external development of Indiana’s players in 2012-13, both seasons on Tom Crean’s staff.

Cheaney will not be involved with recruiting in his new role.

“I could not think of anyone better suited to be part of this program than Calbert Cheaney,” Woodson said in a statement announcing the hire. “His experiences are as good as it gets. Our players can ask him, how do you become successful when you get to college? What can I do to help my team win championships? What do I need to do to be an All-American or National Player of the Year? How did you become a first round draft pick who played 13 years in the NBA?”

Prior to his time with the Pacers, Cheaney was an assistant coach with two teams in the NBA’s G League and spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Louis University.

Cheaney started his coaching career with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in 2010-11 after spending one season in the Warriors front office.

“I have nothing but love and passion for this program and I can’t wait to return and start working with our players and staff,” Cheaney said. “Helping them get the most out of themselves is something that I enjoy and brings me great satisfaction when they see their work pay off on the court.”

Cheaney attended high school in Evansville, Indiana, and was a three-time All-American between 1989-93. He swept the six major national player of the year awards in 1992-93 and finished his career with a school record 2,613 points. He also holds Indiana’s school record for baskets, 1,018.

Indiana went 105-27 with four NCAA tournament appearances and a trip to the 1992 Final Four during his career.

In 1993, the Washington Bullets drafted Cheaney with the No. 6 overall pick and he averaged 9.5 points in 825 career games with Boston, Denver, Utah, Golden State and Washington.

“We’re incredibly appreciative of Calbert’s innumerable contributions to our team during his time here, and after spending the last two seasons working with him, I can see why he’ll be such a great asset to the Hoosiers’ basketball program,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.

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