Isaiah Wilkins is returning to his roots, with the announcement on Tuesday that the former UVA hoops standout has been named a graduate assistant on Tony Bennett’s staff.
“Charlottesville is a place that I love and a place that I developed and grew a lot,” Wilkins said. “So just to have the opportunity to go back, I was going to jump on it. But I’m also super hyped to work with the coaches. Those guys have seriously impacted the way that I am today and the way that I’ll continue to keep living.”
Wilkins returns to Grounds after a three-year professional career. Wilkins played for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany’s top league, the BBL, in 2020-2021. He played professionally in Poland in 2019-20 and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for Canterbury of the NBL in 2019.
Wilkins competed for the Greensboro Storm of the NBA G League in 2018-2019.
“I’m so excited to bring back a guy that’s played here,” Bennett said. “There’s a handful of guys that I’ve coached in our time here where I say, ‘If they want to coach, they’re going to be terrific.’ And Isaiah is one of those. He’s right up at the top of the list.”
Wilkins helped the Cavaliers win two ACC regular-season titles, one ACC Tournament title, four NCAA tournament appearances and a 113-26 record during his four seasons at UVA from 2015-18. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and was a two-time All-ACC Defensive team honoree.
Wilkins averaged 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 132 career games for the Cavaliers. He ranks fifth on UVA’s career blocked shots list with 141. Wilkins earned his undergraduate degree in African American and African studies in 2018 and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.