The lineage of former stars returning to the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team continues. So far, the team has employed Joe Krabbenhoft, Alando Tucker, and Sharif Chambliss. Now add Kirk Penney to that list.
Penney played for the Badgers from 1999-2003, including helping his team reach the Final Four in 2000 under legendary head coach Dick Bennett.
After Bo Ryan took over, Penney was the team’s leading scorer for the next two seasons, and playing alongside future NBA star Devin Harris, Wisconsin had a lot of success in those years.
After his career at Wisconsin, Penney played the bulk of his career overseas and a couple of short NBA stints with the Miami Heat in 2003 and LA Clippers in the 2004-05 season.
Penney’s career ended in the 2017-18 season with the New Zealand Breakers, but came out of retirement in 2022 to play for the Auckland Tuatara in their final game of the 2022 season.
Penney will now serve a vital role for Head Coach Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard explains why he brought Kirk Penney home.
Since he became coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, Greg Gard has gone out of his way to honor players who helped make the program great. Gard will bring back former players before the game so that the fans will remember the positive impact the players had on the team when they were here.
Gard’s doing a version of that where he’s bringing back a familiar face in Kirk Penney. Gard talked about what the addition of Kirk Penney would do for the team.
“I’m excited to welcome Kirk back to our program.” Gard said. His knowledge of not only what it means to be a Badger, but also his world-wide experience in the game of basketball will be a great assett to our players and program overall. Kirk checks all of the boxes in terms of knowledge of our program, his mind for the game, his wealth of playing and coaching experience, and his love for the Badgers. I’m happy to have Kirk back at Wisconsin.”
Penney on the decision to return to Wisconsin Badgers
I’m thankful to Coach Gard for this opportunity to rejoin the Wisconsin Basketball family,” Penney said. “It’s an exciting season ahead, with a fantastic coaching staff and talented players on the roster. Some of my fondest memories are with this program and I’m looking forward to creating more with this group. My wife, Audra, is also a Badger, having played volleyball here, so it’s neat for the family to be contributing to Bucky’s success once again.”
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