Former University of Kentucky standout Scott Padgett was named head coach at Samford on Friday.
Padgett, who had been an assistant for the Birmingham, Ala., school, earned the promotion following the firing of Bennie Seltzer.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at Samford University and to coach these outstanding young men," Padgett said in a statement released by the school. "This program is going to be all about our players — former, current and future."
Padgett, who starred at St. Xavier High School before playing at UK, was part of the Cats' 1998 national championship squad. He was a first-round NBA Draft pick, selected 28th overall by the Utah Jazz in 1999 and spent eight years in the NBA.
"We're going to play an exciting brand of basketball here at Samford, similar to the style I played under Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith at the University of Kentucky," Padgett said. "We are going to press, get up and down the court for 40 minutes and wear down the opposition. It's going to be a playing style that recruits, current players and fans will love."
Padgett scored 1,142 points in four years with the Jazz before spending the next two seasons with the Houston Rockets. He also played for the New Jersey Nets (2005-06), the Rockets again (2006-07) and the Memphis Grizzlies (2007).
He returned to Kentucky as an assistant coach in 2009 and was at Manhattan from 2010-2012 before getting hired at Samford.
"This community has been a blessing to me for the last two years," Padgett said. "My family and I love it here."