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Kevin Freeman joins UConn as an assistant, Kimani Young promoted to associate head coach

Freeman, a former player and director of basketball operations for the Huskies, will replace Kenya Hunter.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Kevin Freeman will be returning to Storrs to join head coach Dan Hurley’s staff as an assistant coach for the UConn men’s basketball team pending the university’s hiring protocol, the program announced Wednesday.

“His success in his career as a player and a coach, his understanding of the game and of team, along with his character as a man made this choice an easy one for me,” Hurley said in the team’s release.

A member of the 1999 national championship team, Freeman will replace Kenya Hunter, who took a job with Indiana earlier in August.

Elsewhere on the Huskies’ staff, Hurley will promote Kimani Young to associate head coach, according to the team. During Hurley’s first two years at UConn, none of his assistants held that title.

The news was first reported on Monday by Corey Evans of Rivals and confirmed by Hearst CT’s Dave Borges.

Freeman returns to the Huskies from Penn State, where he has been an assistant coach for the past two seasons. As his first assistant coaching position, he has been part of the emergence of the Nittany Lions as a threat in the Big Ten under head coach Patrick Chambers. Last season, the team was expected to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

The Springfield, Massachusetts native earned a reputation as a diligent recruiter, bringing in two classes in the top 65 over his first two seasons in State College, according to Rivals. The quality of players courted has taken a step forward so far in the Class of 2021, as Penn State’s incoming freshman class is ranked No. 23 in the nation by Rivals, carried by Elijah Hutchins-Everett, a four-star center playing at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.

Prior to his time at Penn State, Freeman was the director of basketball operations under both Jim Calhoun and Kevin Ollie, a tenure spanning from 2011-2018. He was mostly responsible for administrative tasks in that position.

“Kevin has always been a great ambassador for the University of Connecticut and he exemplifies the personal and professional qualities that build a championship level organization,” Hurley said.

Freeman played professional basketball for 11 years after graduating from UConn in 2000. He spent much of his career playing internationally, including stretches in Australia, Italy, China, Greece, Spain and Puerto Rico.

While at UConn, Freeman set the career record for games played at 140, a mark that was bested by Shabazz Napier in the 2014 season. He is also the program’s eighth-leading rebounder and was a selection for the all-century team in 2000.