CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Former Chattanooga star and first-round draft pick Johnny Taylor is returning to his alma mater as a student assistant on new coach Will Wade's staff.

Taylor led Chattanooga in scoring each of his two seasons with the Mocs and was part of the 1997 team that reached an NCAA tournament regional semifinal. He became the first Chattanooga student-athlete to get picked in the first round of any professional draft when the Orlando Magic chose him with the 17th overall selection in 1997.

Taylor was in the NBA from 1997-2000 and played overseas for 11 seasons.

Taylor has 26 hours remaining to earn his criminal justice degree. Taylor said Tuesday in a university release that he was "excited beyond words" for the opportunity.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.