Rick Stansbury announced Tuesday the hiring of Hennssy Auriantal, Charles Bassey’s legal guardian, as Western Kentucky’s new assistant coach.
The move comes about three weeks after Bassey, a five-star center from Louisville’s Aspire Academy, opted to reclassify and join the Hilltoppers for 2018.
It also ends months of speculation that Auriantal, a former college player at Wisconsin and assistant at Jackson State, would follow Bassey to Bowling Green from Aspire, where he served as an assistant coach.
The Courier Journal reported in February that Auriantal was being considered for the job.
“We’re happy to have Hennssy join our program,” Stansbury said in a press release. “He brings coaching and playing experience at the D-I level in all areas. Besides that, he’s a terrific person and has a beautiful family. We’re excited to have him as part of our team.”
The release does not make a mention of Bassey and Auriantal’s relationship.
Auriantal is Bassey’s legal guardian, which in the NCAA’s view would define Bassey’s relationship with Auriantal as a parent.
Auriantal ran Yes II Success, an organization that has brought international players to the United States while also sponsoring an AAU team. Several of those players joined Bassey this past season at Aspire, as did Auriantal, who moved to Louisville from a previous spot in Texas to fill a staff position at Aspire.
Another of the players originally tied to Yes II Success was current WKU forward Moustapha Diagne, who attended high school in New Jersey.
Diagne missed WKU’s first 16 games this past season while the NCAA investigated his ties to Auriantal.
The Courier Journal asked Stansbury last month if he had any updates on the Hilltoppers’ vacant coaching spot, and he said “not yet” and that they would make a decision soon.