Valparaiso hires Roger Powell

Former University of Illinois star Roger Powell was named to Valparaiso's men's basketball staff as an assistant coach on Monday.

It is the first coaching job for Powell, who played in the NBA, NBDL, CBA and overseas since graduating from Illinois in 2005. He helped the Illini to three Big Ten titles, was a key player in their run to the 2005 NCAA championship game and finished with 1,178 points and 531 rebounds in his career.

Powell had considered getting into coaching the last few years and has been running a summer basketball ministry camp program for five years.

"One of the things I'm very passionate about is building character into athletes," said Powell, who also starred at Joliet High School. "I think at the college level I'll be able to influence some guys. That's what made it so appealing to me.

"I still enjoyed playing. I played pretty well, and I could still be playing. But this is something I'm more passionate about than playing the game."

Powell said his coaching influences were former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, whom he played for in the NBA, his former Illinois coaches Bruce Weber and Bill Self, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, whom he played for during training camp, along with Tony Dungy and John Wooden.

"Roger will be a fantastic addition to our staff," Valparaiso's first-year coach Bryce Drew said in a statement. "He brings a tremendous basketball resume with him, along with the same character and values that our university and program represent. We are excited to get him here and then on the road recruiting, where he should be a great asset for us."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.