SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate head men's basketball coach Eddie Payne has announced the hiring of Kente' Hart as an assistant coach for the Spartan basketball program.
Hart has familiarity with the Spartan coaching staff as he played at Carson-Newman College under then-associate head coach Kyle Perry.
"I am very excited to join the Upstate basketball family," said Hart. "I look forward to working with Coach Payne and learning from a veteran of the profession. I am also thrilled to be reunited with Coach Perry."
Hart most recently served as an assistant basketball coach at Vincennes University during the 2009-10 season. The Evansville, Ind., native assisted in all facets of the program, including: recruiting, strength and conditioning, practices, scouting and game preparations. He also coordinated team travel and served as the team's academic monitor.
Vincennes claimed 22 wins in 2009-10 and the team was the NJCAA District III Runner-Up. Three players signed Division I scholarships while one other player signed with a Division II institution.
Before making his way to Vincennes, Hart served as a student assistant coach at Carson-Newman from 2007 to 2008 as he completed his undergraduate degree. Hart assisted in the coordination of opponent scouting, game film and game planning. He also helped with individual workouts and was responsible for filming home and away games. Hart graduated in Dec. 2008 with a B.S. degree in Physical Education.
Hart was a two-year letterwinner at Carson-Newman (2005-07). He was named Second-Team All-South Atlantic Conference as well as team MVP after a stellar senior campaign. He averaged 15.1 points, 6.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds per contest while connecting on 49 percent of his field goal attempts, 46 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent at the charity stripe. The two-time conference player of the week finished the season 15th nationally in assists. Hart was recruited to Carson-Newman by Kyle Perry and the new Spartan assistant coach played under Perry during the 2005-06 season. Hart was also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during his time at the school.
Before arriving in Jefferson City, Tenn., Hart played two seasons at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. As a sophomore, he earned team MVP and First-Team All-Conference accolades after leading the team in points (18.1 ppg), assists (6.1 apg), free throw percentage (87.0). He also grabbed 3.1 rebounds per contest. Hart also excelled in the classroom as he was named to the Dean's List and was a member of Phi Beta Lambda.