With the departure of Neven Spahija to become the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv in late June, Travis Schlenk and Mike Budenholzer were in need of a replacement on the coaching staff. Now, that is no longer an issue, as the Atlanta Hawks announced that former Ohio State assistant coach Chris Jent will join the coaching staff.
In an official release, Budenholzer said the following about the hire. “Chris is a great fit with our coaching staff. Player development is at the core of our basketball program and he has a track record of improving players' skill level and understanding of the game at every level. His experiences as a coach and former player will add to our group."
Jent spent the 2016-2017 basketball season on Ohio State’s bench serving under Thad Matta and, prior to that, the 47-year-old was the head coach of the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League (now the G League) during the 2015-2016 campaign. Jent also spent time on Ohio State’s bench in 2012 and 2013 before jumping to the NBA on the staff of the Sacramento Kings.
Before pursuing coaching, Jent played basketball professionally for a decade, including a two-year run in the NBA. The 6’7 forward appeared in games for the Knicks and Rockets in the mid-1990’s.
The departure of Spahija and hiring of Jent seemingly rounds out Atlanta’s coaching staff for the upcoming season. Jent joins assistants Taylor Jenkins, Darvin Ham, Charles Lee and Ben Sullivan and will be in Las Vegas to aid Lee (serving as the head coach) in leading the Summer League squad.