Former NBA “draft bust” becomes first-time head coach


Dennis HopsonFormer Ohio State basketball star and ex-NBA player Dennis Hopson became Bedford High School’s head coach.

This would be Hopson’s first try as a head coach, as he only been an assistant coach in his post-game career. Hopson was an assistant at Bowling Green State University for several past seasons.

Hopson believes there’s only one difference between a head coach and an assistant coach.

“It’s an opportunity run my own program,” he said. “I’ve been an assistant coach. The assistant looks at the same game as the head coach. The only difference is that an assistant makes suggestions. The head coach makes decisions.”

He is also enthusiastic about being a role model for the students and athletes.

“We share the same dreams and goals with education and development: academically, athletically, socially. I want them to be prepared for things after Bedford High School, for real life.”

“The best relationship is when someone wants you as much as you want them,” Hopson stated in a press release. “Bedford has shown their commitment to me and, in turn, I want them to know I am committed to them.”

Hopson played high school basketball at Toledo Bowsher.

He was second in the NCAA Division I for scoring with Ohio State in the 1986–87 season and eventually set a school record for career points with 2,096 and points in a season with 958 in 1987. He held the school record for steals until 1989.

An All-American and 1987 Big Ten Player of the Year, Hopson began his professional career when he was selected as the third overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. From 1989-1990, he led the team in points, but his potential was never fully realized in the NBA. He also played briefly for the Chicago Bulls, winning a championship with them during the 1990-91 season.

Hopson played in total 334 NBA games (started in 119), averaging 10.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg in 22.5 mpg. He played a total of 5 seasons in the league.

Hopson spent some time as a scout with the Philadelphia 76ers after retiring from playing.

He built his own AAU program called Hopson Elite in Columbus, then assisted with several high school teams in that area and spent some time coaching in the CBA.

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