Kirk Penney was one of the cornerstones of Bo Ryan’s early teams at UW and one of the catalysts behind the back-to-back Big Ten title teams of 2002 and 2003. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors both seasons, becoming the first Badger since Ab Nicholas in 1951 and 1952 to achieve that.
Penney finished his career with 1,454 career points, which is currently eighth-best in school history. An outstanding long-range shooter, Penney’s game became very well-rounded under Ryan when he became an inside-outside threat.
Since leaving UW, Penney has extended his basketball career. He has had a couple stints in the NBA with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers as well as spending some time in the NBDL. Most of his time has been spent playing overseas. He is a regular on the national team for his native New Zealand, having played in two Olympics and two World Basketball Championships. Penney is now back in New Zealand playing for the Breakers.
He recently took some time to fill out this questionnaire and email it back to us.
NAME: Kirk Penney
YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2003. Have not finished BS-Landscape Architecture. Might need a few more months on campus at some point in time.
HOMETOWN: North Shore City, New Zealand.
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: North Shore City, New Zealand.
CURRENT JOB: New Zealand Breakers Player (http://www.nzbreakers.co.nz/)
LAST TIME BACK IN MADISON: Wisconsin summer, 2007
NUMBER OF GAMES ATTENDED SINCE GRADUATION: Have not seen a Badger game since my last home game in 2003.
BADGERS YOU STILL KEEP IN TOUCH WITH: Very off and on… although any guys I have played with are mates for life, and have caught up with many of them at different times.
ANYTHING UNIQUE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH BADGER FANS: Currently playing in my hometown in the Australian League. Have not seen a kiwi summer since ’98, so it is sweet being home spending time with family and barbequing far too much. I am going to try and catch a Badger basketball game this year if at all possible, as the Aussie league finishes a little earlier than Europe (where I have been playing the last four years). They show all the ESPN games down here, so watched the Michigan game last week. Definitely a Packer and Brewer fan from my time there at UW… bummed to see the Pack not quite make the big game. However Bo and the fellas are looking good so far, as always I am cheering them along every step of the way… Go Badgers.