Former Indiana men's basketball star Calbert Cheaney, who spent the past three years as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers, will return to Indiana men's basketball to serve as the Director of Player Development in a non-recruiting coaching role, per release Tuesday.
"I could not think of anyone better suited to be part of this program," Indiana head coach Mike Woodson said. "Every team or program he has been a part of after his playing career, he has had an immense impact on. As a player in college and as a pro, his experiences are as good as it gets. Our players can ask him, how do you become successful when you get to college?”
Cheaney, a three-time All-American who played for Indiana from 1989-1993, is the all-time leading scorer in program history and the Big Ten with 2,613 points. While Cheaney played four seasons with the Hoosiers, Indiana went 105-27, qualified for the NCAA Tournament yearly and reached the Final Four in 1992. Cheaney averaged 22.4 points his senior season and is one of four players in program history to earn national player of the year honors.
The Washington Bullets selected Cheaney with the No. 6 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. Cheaney’s professional career lasted 13 seasons. Woodson’s recent coaching hire marks Cheaney’s second time as an assistant on Indiana's staff. Cheaney was the Director of Operations in 2011-2012 and in addition oversaw player development from 2012-2013.
"I think he can share his experiences of how teams expect their players to work every day and get the most out of their ability," Woodson said. "I don't think you will find anyone who has a bad thing to say about him. He is a high-character individual who loves this program."
From 2018-2020, Cheaney was an assistant coach for the Erie BayHawks and College Park Skyhawks of the G League, the NBA's minor league organization. Before that, Cheaney was an assistant coach for the Saint Louis University men’s basketball team from 2013-2016. He also spent two years in the Golden State Warriors organization from 2009-2011. Cheaney served in the front office during the first season and as an assistant coach in the second.
"I'm extremely grateful that Mike Woodson thought enough of me to be a part of the program that played such an important role in shaping me into the man I am," Cheaney said in Tuesday’s release. "I've known Coach for a long time and I hold him in the highest regard. I have nothing but love and passion for this program and I can't wait to return and start working with our players and staff. Helping them get the most out of themselves is something that I enjoy and brings me great satisfaction when they see their work pay off on the court."