DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre men’s basketball coach LeShawn Hammett attained his 200th career win during the team’s 92-84 victory over Central Penn College at home on Dec.18.
“I’m excited and happy about this win,” Hammett said. “It’s very humbling to be a part of a group of people who have had success and won that many games.”
Penn State Wilkes-Barre Athletic Director Scott Miner congratulated Hammett on the milestone, saying, “Coach Hammett is a respected leader on and off the court. It comes as no surprise that Penn State Wilkes-Barre continues to accumulate wins under his leadership, as he has built and developed a team that works extremely well together. His players appreciate the opportunity to learn from his success.”
Hammett is in his seventh season of coaching at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The game was his 151st win for Penn State Wilkes-Barre. Game leaders included Jalyn Willis with 25 points and five assists, Teequan Holley with 15 points and five rebounds, Rashod Ballard and Elijah Perez with 14 points and Jedidiah Ashton off the bench with 11 points.
Hammett has led the men's team to two United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national championships in the last four seasons. He was named the 2019 USCAA National Coach of the Year. Hammett and the program are the only men’s basketball program in PSUAC conference history to win USCAA National Championships.
During the 2022-23 season, Hammett led the program to its first-ever No. 1 seed in the USCAA National Tournament. The team also won its second national championship in the school's history. That season, Hammett led the program to its fifth straight national tournament appearances and its fourth straight 20-win season and also notched his 175th game win.
Under Hammett’s leadership, the team has made the playoffs every year and appeared in three PSUAC conference championship games. He also holds the program home win streak record of 26 straight home wins. He has coached numerous USCAA All-Americans, All Conference Players, Newcomer of the Year winners, PSUAC Defensive Players Of The Year and Academic All-Americans. Several of his former players are now playing professionally abroad.
“When I first got into coaching, I didn’t come in with any goals or expectations, just the notion that I was going to coach and try to change lives to help kids achieve their dreams,” Hammett said. “I love that I’m getting a chance to impact lives. We have players from all different parts of the country who all have their own stories and have faced many hurdles to get to Penn State Wilkes-Barre. To be able to help them attain a degree and do some life-changing things is the most exciting thing for me.”
Before coming to Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Hammett served as head basketball coach at Cecil College from 2012-15, winning Region XX and District 14 Coach of the Year awards twice. During his tenure at Cecil, he won two Region XX championship and went to the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament.
Hammett is a graduate of Luzerne County Community College, where he ranks as the school’s all-time leading scorer, scoring 1,325 points in two seasons. After his successful career at LCCC, Hammett went on to play at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania while earning a degree in communications. Subsequently, he played professionally in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia for seven seasons.