ODU Student Jordon Wanzer takes a closer look at a Monarch basketball legend

Courtesy of ODU Special Collections and University Archives

Old Dominion Men’s basketball continues to plan ahead and look forward for the future of the program.“DEFENDING OUR HOUSE” is written in bold on the cover of the 2007-2008 ODU Basketball media guide. Ten years ago, head coach Blaine Taylor and his staff brought in Kent Bazemore from Kelford North Carolina, averaging 18.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game as a senior at Bertie High School. He was also named Northeast North Carolina Coastal Conference Player of the Year. Having an astonishing high school career, Bazemore’s future ahead of him looked to be promising coming into a great college program here at ODU. The ability to bring intensity to the game and play both sides on the court showed that Bazemore was more than an average high school player.

Coach Blaine showed great interest in Bazemore’s performance. He had stated that his “physical toughness and continued strength improvement will allow him to reach his vast potential.” Being redshirted 2007-2008 season, Bazemore was able to get an extra year to improve his game on the court and transition smoothly to the collegiate level. As a sophomore he was moved into the starting lineup for the Monarchs. Bazemore played a great role for the men’s conference championship season. Known for being a high flyer and a lockdown defender, Kent was a force in the Colonial Athletic Association regular season. He was named to the CAA All-Defensive Team averaging 8.5 points, 3.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds.

Kent also contributed to another conference championship the following year. During his junior season the monarchs made the NCAA Tournament which ended with a two point  loss to Butler University. Butler finished runner up behind UCONN in the 2011 NCAA Championship match. Bazemore was named CAA Defensive Player of the year and the most outstanding men’s college basketball defender in NCAA Division I (Lefty Driesell Award). He now is currently a professional athlete for the Atlanta Hawks and averaged 11 points, 2.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game during the 2016-2017 NBA season. Old Dominion has retired the number 24 and introduced Kent Bazemore into the athletic ring of honor in 2016. Bazemore’s work ethic and college legacy will always be remembered here at Old Dominion.

Courtesy of ODU Special Collections & University Archives

Old Dominion basketball produces great talent and competitive athletes who are willing to put in extra hours at the gym in order to perfect their craft. As the next season approaches, I look forward to seeing the up-and-coming athletes here make history and add more archival material to special collections.

-Written by ODU Special Collections student assistant Jordon Wanzer