Penn State Wilkes-Barre's head Men's Basketball coach Leshawn Hammett will head into the 2020-2021 season with a bigger challenge than ever before. His goal will not be to get back to another USCAA National Championship game, it is to get to two of them this season. As of this year, Coach Hammett is taking over the Penn State-Wilkes Barre women's basketball program as well. Coach Hammett now has the job of successfully leading both programs, and based on his track record, he is the right man for the job.
Leshawn Hammett began his college career playing basketball at Luzerne County Community College, where he still holds the honor as the program's all-time leading scorer. After his success at LCCC, Hammett moved on to play at St. Francis University. Hammett then went on to play seven seasons of professional basketball in the United States, and abroad. Before arriving at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Hammett was the head coach at Cecil College in Maryland. Penn State Wilkes-Barre landed Hammett for the 2015-2016 season, where he led the team to a 10-6 PSUAC record and a berth in the PSUAC conference tournament. Since his arrival, Hammett has recorded a 49-24 record in conference play. Overall, Hammett boasts a 91-44 record in his five seasons at Wilkes-Barre.
Coach Hammett and his staff have enjoyed a great deal of success over these past five seasons. In 2019, Coach Hammett and his squad won the USCAA National Championship, the first program in PSUAC history to achieve this feat. Hammett was honored as the 2019 USCAA coach of the year in 2019. From 2017-2019 Hammett has made three straight national tournaments. During their championship season, Hammett coached the national tournament MVP. He also has a national 3-point champion, and a national dunk champion under his tutelage. Coach Hammett has coached six All-American players, as well as six academic All-Americans during his time at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. His teams have been nationally ranked at #1, #2, and
#3, this past January marked the first time in school history where a team from Penn State Wilkes-Barre has achieved a number one ranking in the country.
Not only have Coach Hammett and his teams had national success, they have succeeded at the conference level as well. In 2018 and 2019, his teams were both PSUAC tournament runner-ups. Hammett has led seven players to all-conference honors, as well as one PSUAC sixth man of the year, and one PSUAC defensive player of the year. Six different athletes that have played under Hammett have gone on to play basketball professionally overseas.
This season will be a challenge for every coach in the conference, and in the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions, teams and coaches will have to find new ways to practice, prepare, and succeed. Coach Hammett will have to deal with all of these challenges, as well as the addition of leading the Penn State Wilkes-Barre women's basketball program. However, if there is one man for the job, it is our very own Penn State Wilkes-Barre coach, Leshawn Hammett.