William Wesley, among the most connected people in the NBA and a former football and basketball player at Pennsauken High, has been hired by the New York Knicks as executive vice president/senior basketball adviser. The Knicks announced the move Wednesday.

This is not surprising since the 55-year-old Wesley, known as “Worldwide Wes” or simply “Wes” to his friends, has been a longtime friend of new Knicks president Leon Rose, for whom he has also worked.

Rose, like Wesley, has deep South Jersey roots, having graduated from Cherry Hill East in 1979. Wesley graduated from Pennsauken in 1983.

The Knicks announced Rose’s hiring in March. Before that, Rose was a highly successful basketball agent, most recently for CAA (Creative Artists Agency), where he was co-head of sports and entertainment.

Through the years, Wesley worked closely with Rose, most recently as a consultant at CAA.

“My long history with and respect for [Knicks executive owner] Jim Dolan and Leon Rose, as well as the chance to be part of the New York Knicks, made this an opportunity I wanted to pursue,” Wesley said in a statement released by the team. “I look forward to joining the current staff and moving the organization toward a successful future.”

Rose has his work cut out in attempting to bring the Knicks to prominence. This season was the seventh straight in which the team failed to make the playoffs. Many big-name free agents in recent years have declined to go to New York. The Knicks have to hope that Wesley’s connections can help them when it comes to luring free agents to Madison Square Garden.

“We are very excited to announce the hiring of William Wesley, someone that I have known for over 40 years and consider to be family,” Rose said in a statement. “He is one of the most well-connected and respected people in the basketball community and he will be a tremendous asset and resource to both myself and the New York Knicks.”

The Knicks also announced the hiring of T.J. Zanin and Alex Kline as scouts. Both have local roots.

Zanin is the brother of Frank Zanin, who was recently named the Knicks’ assistant general manager-pro scouting. Frank Zanin worked a decade with the Sixers, most recently as a pro personnel scout for the 2011-2012 season, and was a pro scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder before being hired by the Knicks.

T.J. Zanin was previously a regional scout for the Dallas Mavericks. He was a star basketball player at Marple Newtown High and West Chester University, and a member of the athletic Hall of Fame at both schools.

Kline, 26, who is from Pennington, N.J., was a scout and basketball operations assistant for the New Orleans Pelicans from 2016 to 2020.

In high school Kline began scouting by publishing Recruit Scoop, which evaluated East Coast players.