Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has named 11-year NBA veteran Chris Whitney Director of Player Development.

“Chris Whitney was the consummate professional as a player, both on and off the court, during his NBA career. He always carried himself in a first-class manner and set a great example as a team leader,” said Higgins.  “His experience and the great respect that players around the league have for him makes Chris the ideal person to help our players continue to be positive contributors in our community.”

In his new role with the organization, Whitney will cultivate one-on-one relationships with Bobcats players, provide guidance to help them develop life skills, both professionally and socially, and assist in planning for life after basketball.

The NBA’s Player Development Program was designed to aide players with life skills training and development, player counseling and assistance, and education and career transition. The program’s overall mission is to help NBA players realize their potential both on and off the court through comprehensive educational programming and critical support services and mentoring.

Whitney, who was initially selected by San Antonio with the 47th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, played in 579 career NBA games for San Antonio, Washington, Denver and Orlando, averaging 6.5 points, 2.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds.  Eight of his 11 seasons came with the Bullets/Wizards, where he remains the team’s all-time career leader in free-throw percentage (.885) and ranks third all-time in three-point field goals (481).

No stranger the Carolinas region, Whitney played collegiately at Clemson University from 1991-93, following two seasons at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Illinois, where he was named First Team NJCAA All-American in 1991.  He remains the Tigers’ career leader in three-point field goals per game (2.88), while ranking second in steals per game (1.97), second in assists per game (6.10) and fifth in three-point percentage (.413).  Despite playing only two seasons, Whitney ranks seventh among the school’s career leaders in three-point field goals (167) and ninth in career assists (354).  He holds two of Clemson’s top nine single-season three-point field goal totals and is one of just four players in school history with consecutive seasons of 80 or more three-point field goals.

While playing with the Wizards, Whitney created the C-WHIT (Children with Hope in Tomorrow) Foundation to assist programs dedicated to helping children in Washington, DC, and his hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  He was the runner-up for the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 2000-01.

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th team when they joined the league in 2004-05, finished the 2009-10 season with a franchise-best 44-38 overall record (31-10 at home) and first-ever playoff appearance.