Reggie Hanson was born October 8, 1968 in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated from high school in Pulaski County, Kentucky. The 6-7 forward and four-year letter winner at Kentucky was named All-Southeastern Conference as both a junior and senior and captured team Most Valuable Player accolades both seasons.
Hanson endeared himself to Kentucky fans during his sophomore season when the program was rocked by an NCAA investigation. Mass defections and a coaching change occurred as a two-year penalty was imposed on the men's basketball team. That resulted in no television exposure for one
season and no postseason play for two years. Hanson, with just two years of eligibility remaining, chose to stay and play for new coach Rick Pitino.
As a captain his senior season, Hanson guided the '91 Wildcats to the best record (22-6) in the Southeastern Conference, though Kentucky was not eligible for the league title.
Hanson's dedication to the program led Pitino to rename the team's sacrifice award – the Reggie Hanson Sacrifice Award.
He led the team in field goals made (1990), rebounding (1990, '91), blocks (1990, '91) and steals (1989, '90). Hanson finished his standout career with 1,167 points (currently ranks 38th all-time at UK). He graduated in 1991 from UK with a bachelor's degree in education.
Hanson has experienced a tremendous amount of success as both a player and a coach at Kentucky, one of the top programs in all of collegiate basketball. His duties with the Wildcats included off-campus recruiting and on-court instruction.
The program reached the NCAA tournament each of his seven seasons with the team, highlighted by a pair of Elite Eight (2003, 2005) and Sweet 16 (2001, 2002) appearances. He also helped lead UK to three regular season SEC titles and three SEC tournament crowns. The Wildcats ended all five seasons ranked in national AP polls from 2000-05: No. 1 – 2003; No. 2 – 2004; No. 7 – 2005; No. 9 – 2001; and No. 16 – 2002.
The Somerset, Ky., native joined the staff at Kentucky following a successful eight-year professional basketball career. His playing days included a stop with the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics (1998), but were highlighted by an
extended stay in the Japanese Basketball League. Hanson spent seven seasons in Japan, six serving as both a player and a coach. He was the league's leading scorer in both 1995 and 1996 and claimed the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1996.
He averaged 20.6 points and 8.7 rebounds for his JBL career, shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and 84.1 percent from the free throw line. Hanson also played one season (1991-92) with the Louisville Shooters of the Global League.
Reggie is currently the Director of Basketball Operations at the University of South Florida.
Hanson and his wife, Lynelle, have two daughters; Sakia and Jaitesha.
Walter Cornett, of Glendale, Kentucky, is the owner and operator of Walter's Wildcat World. He founded WildcatWorld.com in 1998 making it one of the oldest Kentucky basketball fan sites in operation today.
On This Day In UK Basketball History
- On December 10, 1951, Bob Burrow collected 34 rebounds against Temple for the most rebounds ever in a single game by a Kentucky player.
- On December 10, 1977, as top-ranked UK is defeating Kansas on “Adolph Rupp Night” in Allen Field House on Naismith Drive in Lawrence, Kansas, Rupp dies. Thousands would participate in the funeral procession in Lexington.
- On December 10, 2011, Indiana's Christian Watford hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer in Assembly Hall to stun No. 1 Kentucky. It's only the second time Indiana had beaten a top-ranked team at Assembly Hall.