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IU basketball legend Keith Smart hired as an assistant coach at Arkansas

An IU basketball legend is returning to the college game for the first time since he delivered a national championship in 1987.

The University of Arkansas announced on Wednesday former IU great Keith Smart will be joining Eric Musselman’s staff as an assistant coach.

Smart has a long history with Musselman both as a player with the Rapid City Thrillers and Florida Beachdogs and as an assistant coach on Musselman’s staff with the Golden State Warriors. Overall, Smart spent nine years playing professional basketball and 22 years coaching in professional basketball, including head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State and Sacramento Kings as well as assistant positions with six NBA franchises.

“I am excited to be reunited with Coach Musselman, a person I’ve known for over 30 years, and to continue my growth as a basketball coach,” Smart said in a release by the school. “I cannot think of a better place than with Coach Musselman and at the University of Arkansas. By becoming a Razorback, my basketball life is somewhat coming full circle as Coach (Nolan) Richardson recruited me.

“In addition to playing for and working with Coach Muss, I have kept in close contact with him over the years, sharing ideas and strategies,” Smart said. “I know what he is teaching, and I know his expectations. I am thrilled to join the Arkansas family, to develop our players and to build on the solid foundation that has been laid here.”

Smart made one of the most iconic shots in college basketball history when he drained a baseline jump shot with seconds remaining to secure a 74-73 win for Indiana over Syracuse in the 1987 title game.  The junior college transfer was the 1987 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, scored 765 points in two seasons at Indiana and is a member of the Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame (Class of 2017).

Smart received his Bachelor of General Studies from Indiana in 1995. He and his wife Carol have two sons, Andre and Jared. Jared is currently a senior at Hawaii and earned All-Mountain West honorable mention honors in 2020 as a wide receiver.

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