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Indianapolis Star: Ex-Wildcat Jason Gardner hired as assistant at Loyola (Ill.)

Jason Gardner talks to coach Lute Olson during a 2003 Pac-10 Tournament game against UCLA. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Here is a story on former Arizona Wildcats point guard Jason Gardner from our Gannett partner, the Indianapolis Star. Check out the link at the Indianapolis Star for a slideshow of Gardner through the years.

By Kyle Neddenriep

Jason Gardner is one step closer to his goal of becoming a Division I college basketball head coach.

Gardner, the former Indianapolis Star Indiana Mr. Basketball from North Central High School, was hired as an assistant at Loyola (Ill.) today. Part of his responsibilities will be to recruit the state of Indiana under new coach Porter Moser.

“It’s a great campus and a great school,” said Gardner, who starred at the University of Arizona and played several years professionally overseas. “From the first interview I had there, I knew it would be a good situation for me to work under Porter Moser and learn from him.”

Gardner, 30, was an assistant coach last year at Cathedral High School. He was likely to take an assistant coaching position at Tech this year when the opportunity at Loyola materialized.

“It was great for me to get back and have a chance to be involved again with Indiana high school basketball,” he said. “But this was a good opportunity. With my competitive nature, I’d like to be a head coach at some point. But I know there’s still a lot to learn.”

The 5-foot-10 Gardner led North Central to the 1999 Class 4A state championship and was a second team All-American at Arizona as a senior in 2003.

Gardner is the second former Arizona standout guard to become a college assistant coach in the offseason. Damon Stoudamire joined the staff at Memphis, which is led by ex-Cat Josh Pastner. Pastner was an assistant at Arizona when Gardner played from 1999 to 2003.

Here’s another take on the hiring of Gardner from ESPNChicago.com, which includes this quote from Moser:

“I think there’s no question he’s going to be a star in this profession. As a player, he had an infectious, positive impact on any kid he was around. When I talked to coach Lute Olson and Josh Pastner, they said, ‘We’ve never had a player who had an impact on players like Jason Gardner did.’”

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