Walter McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran who played for University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino in college and professionally, is in his third year on the Cardinals' staff as an assistant coach.
"It's great to have Walter on our staff," said Pitino. "He has all the experience to help our young men grow as people. I have immense confidence in him as a person. Playing ten years in the NBA is no small feat; it's a great accomplishment. He's a team player and has always been about winning. His enthusiasm is infectious. I think right now it's a perfect fit with our players. I wanted someone that could relate to them about what the next level is all about."
In his two years with the Cardinals, U of L produced a combined 58-14 record, reached the NCAA Elite Eight both seasons, and the Cards won the 2009 BIG EAST Championship.
McCarty was drafted in the first round of the 1996 draft (19th overall pick) by the New York Knicks, where he played one season before an October 1997 trade sent him to the Boston Celtics. He played seven and a half seasons with the Celtics -- playing initially under Pitino -- and averaged a career-best 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first season there in 1997-98. He moved to the Phoenix Suns in the middle of the 2004-05 season and finished his NBA playing career with the Los Angeles Clippers. His NBA scoring high was 27 points with the Celtics against New Jersey and he grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds against Orlando.
McCarty was a starting forward on the Pitino-coached University of Kentucky's 1996 NCAA Championship team. He started 32 of 36 games as a senior during that championship season when he averaged a career-high 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. He was second on that deep title squad with 206 rebounds and 28 three-point goals. His top scoring effort as a Wildcat was 24 points against Mississippi as a sophomore in his first collegiate start.
McCarty had a cameo appearance in the 1998 film "He Got Game" as the character "Mance." He sang the National Anthem prior to All-Star Saturday Night on the eve of the 2006 NBA All-Star game. He released an R&B/soul CD in 2003 titled "Moment of Love."
Since joining the Boston Celtics in 1996, Walter McCarty was involved in every aspect of the team's community outreach including the Southwest Airlines/Boston Celtics Assists program, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Boston, the Big Brother Association of Massachusetts Bay, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and many others. In 2001, he became the first Celtic player to be recognized as the NBA Hometown Hero of the Month. McCarty founded The I Love Music Foundation in September 2002 to promote the positive aspects of music and to support the growth of music for youth in the Greater Boston area, as well as his hometown of Evansville, Indiana.
A native of Evansville, Ind., McCarty earned a B.A. in communications at Kentucky in 1996. He and his wife Erin have two daughters: Gabrielle and Sasha.
Walter McCarty Up Close
Years at Louisville: Third. Joined staff in June 2007 after retiring from playing in the NBA.
Previous Coaching Experience: None.
Playing Experience: High School -- Parade All-America selection as a senior at Evansville (Ind.) Harrison High School. College -- Played three years at the University of Kentucky (1993-96) under Coach Rick Pitino. Starting forward and co-captain of the UK 1996 NCAA Championship team. NBA -- Drafted in the first round (19th selection) of the 1996 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. Played 10 years in the NBA for the New York Knicks (1996-97), Boston Celtics (1997-2005), Phoenix Suns (2005) and Los Angeles Clippers (2005-06). Scored 3,056 points in 10 NBA seasons. Averaged a career-best 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first season with the Celtics in 1997-98.
Education: B.A. in Communications from Kentucky in 1996; graduate of Harrison High School in Evansville, Ind.
Personal Data: Born Feb. 1, 1974 in Evansville, Ind.; Married to his wife Erin on Aug. 18, 2002. Two daughters: Gabrielle (5) and Sasha (3).