Kevin Ollie is the only black coach to lead a team to the 2014 NCAA Final Four after his Connecticut Huskies upset Michigan State. Ollie’s team will face the Florida Gators in the first round of the Final Four.
Here are four things to know about UConn’s head coach, Kevin Ollie.
Kevin Ollie is Connecticut’s first black head coach
Ollie became UConn’s first black coach after replacing Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun. He started as an assistant coach and was named head coach in 2012.
Kevin Ollie mentored LeBron James and Kevin Durant during his NBA days
While playing in the NBA, Ollie was a mentor to LeBron James while playing with the Cleveland Cavs and Kevin Durant when he was signed to the OKC Thunder. Both players have said that Ollie’s leadership helped them to adjust to NBA life on and off the court.
Kevin Ollie traveled often while in the NBA
Ollie was a journeyman, playing for 12 NBA teams during his career. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers three different times and the Orlando Magic twice. A defensive specialist, Ollie’s best scoring season occurred in 2003 when he averaged eight points per game as a member of the Seattle Sonics.
Kevin Ollie served as Allen Iverson’s backup during the 76ers NBA Finals run
During the 76ers last trip to the NBA Finals in 2001, Ollie played a pivotal role as Allen Iverson’s backup. The 76ers eventually loss the series to the Lakers.