Payne Joins Men's Basketball Staff

June 18, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kenny Payne has joined the UK men's basketball coaching staff as an assistant coach, head coach John Calipari announced on Friday.

Payne comes to Lexington after serving as an assistant at the University of Oregon since the summer of 2004.

“Kenny Payne has been a part of our coaching family for the last 10 years and he's been a part of our yearly retreat,” said Calipari. “I've watched his growth over the years and I've always been impressed. I've offered him a couple of jobs in the past that he passed on because of his loyalty to Oregon. This should be a great opportunity for him and naturally I'm thrilled about what he brings to our staff.”

A standout player at the University of Louisville, Payne is a veteran of 10 professional basketball leagues worldwide, including a four-year stint with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.

“I feel fortunate and honored to have an opportunity to coach for one of the hottest and best coaches in college basketball at one of the premier programs, both historically and today, in all of college basketball,” said Payne. “I look forward to being a part of the team, growing as a coach and learning from one of the best, while helping Kentucky win a national title.”

Payne came to Louisville from Northeast Jones High School in Laurel, Miss., where he was a Parade All-American and the state's player of the year.

At Louisville, he scored 1,083 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range during his four-year career, while helping the Cardinals to the 1986 National Championship. His best year was his senior season when he averaged 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and was named to the All-Metro Conference team.

After Payne finished his eligibility at Louisville in 1989, he embarked on an 11-year professional career that would take him to nine countries on five different continents. He was a first-round selection in the 1989 NBA draft, going 19th overall to the 76ers. Payne averaged 3.5 points per game during his four-year NBA career with Philadelphia.