Jent Back At Ohio State

After playing and coaching in the NBA and even having a short stint last year as the interim head coach of the Orlando Magic, one-time Buckeye basketball player Chris Jent has made his way back to Ohio State. Jent will be taking classes as well as helping out with the OSU staff. Kyle Lamb has more.

He might not be the oldest student on campus. He might not be the most experienced coach on Ohio State's staff. But 13 years after his college playing days ended in Columbus, Chris Jent is making another round in the college game – this time as a coach.

The 6-7 Jent left Ohio State following a successful senior season that ended abruptly in an overtime loss to Michigan in the 1992 Regional Finals. He went on to an NBA career with Houston and New York where he played sporadically while also spending time in the Continental Basketball Association.

Although Jent's playing career didn't last as long as he may have liked, Jent took an NBA Championship ring from his 1994 stint with the Rockets into a coaching career.

After serving the better part of two seasons as a bench assistant for the Orlando Magic, last March he took over for the fired Johnny Davis as the interim head coach. He guided the Magic to a 5-13 record, before giving way to Eric Musselman as the full-time head coach.

With nothing coming down the pipeline by way of offers, Jent decided to go back to Ohio State and major in journalism while joining Thad Matta as perhaps one of the most qualified student assistants in the history of college basketball.

Jent is a native of Sparta, NJ and played four years under former Ohio State head coach, Randy Ayers. He played on two Big 10 Championship teams along with Mark Baker, Jamaal Brown, Treg Lee and Jim Jackson.

The move to Ohio State will advance his college education and boost his resume for future jobs. It also gives him more of a solid boost into the coaching ranks. Jent finished just short of his degree when he left Ohio State for the NBA the first time around, so he will get his degree at Ohio State while also helping Matta's coaching staff as an assistant.

One of Jent's ideal jobs would be succeeding Matta, or whoever else might coach at Ohio State, as the Buckeyes' head basketball coach. In the interim, NCAA rules prohibit extensive roles by student assistants, which will mean scouting and recruiting will be off-limits to Jent, who is expected to do a lot of administrative work as well as hands-on help during practices.

Bucknuts.com will have much more on this story in the near future.


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