|Nov. 14||Miss. Val.||7:00 PM|
|Nov. 17||@Villanova||7:30 PM|
|Nov. 19||Delaware St.||7:00 PM|
|Nov. 22||SE Louisiana||6:00 PM|
|Nov. 24||Ark.-PB||7:00 PM|
|Nov. 27||vs. Cincinnati||5:30 PM|
|Dec. 01||Miami (Fla.)||8:00 PM|
|Dec. 05||Abilene Christian||1:00 PM|
|Dec. 09||@Creighton||7:00 PM|
|Dec. 13||Rhode Island||1:00 PM|
|Dec. 20||Samford||6:00 PM|
|Dec. 22||Prairie View||7:00 PM|
|Dec. 30||Northwestern||3:00 PM|
|Jan. 02||Indiana||3:00 PM|
|Jan. 05||@Iowa||8:00 PM|
|Jan. 09||@Rutgers||4:00 PM|
|Jan. 12||Minnesota||8:00 PM|
|Jan. 16||@Illinois||1:30 PM|
|Jan. 20||@Michigan St.||5:30 PM|
|Jan. 23||Michigan||1:00 PM|
|Jan. 30||@Purdue||3:30 PM|
|Feb. 03||Maryland||7:30 PM|
|Feb. 06||Rutgers||1:00 PM|
|Feb. 10||@Wisconsin||6:00 PM|
|Feb. 13||Penn St.||5:00 PM|
|Feb. 17||@Indiana||7:30 PM|
|Feb. 20||Ohio St.||6:00 PM|
|Feb. 25||@Penn St.||6:00 PM|
|Mar. 01||Purdue||7:00 PM|
|Mar. 06||@Northwestern||1:00 PM|
Categories See All →
Full topic ›
Full topic ›
Full topic ›
Full topic ›
Full topic ›
Then & Now: Bill Jackman
Then & Now: Bill Jackman
Compiled By Dave Brandon
(Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)
Jackman is a native of Grant, Nebraska, and played for
the Huskers from 1985-1987. The former forward is one of
the most heralded recruits the state of Nebraska has
ever produced, as he signed and played one season with
Duke before transferring to NU. The former Academic
All-Big 8 performer played a key role on both the
1985-1986 NCAA Tournament team, and the 1986-1987 NIT
HHC recently caught up with Jackman,
who is our latest guest in this Sunday’s edition of
“Then & Now.”
HHC: Bill, thanks a
lot for taking the time to join us. Before we get into
the interview, we have to set the record straight – were
you 6’8”, as some of the media guides say, or 6’9”, as
BJ: I’m officially 6’8 and a ½, so split
the difference. (Laughs) Different media guides have
picked different things.
Alright, now that we’ve got that straight, let’s dig in.
You played high school basketball at Perkins County High
School, and helped lead your team to a 78-4 record,
along with two Class C state titles. However, as an
individual player, do you feel that the medium level
class hurt your development at all for Division One
basketball, or is that claim overrated?
BJ: I think it did
from a competition standpoint. On a game in game out
basis, you prepare for guys at the level you play at,
and not only that, but you get used to and trained in a
reactive way of how the officials will call the games.
In general, from an offensive
standpoint, I thought it was a disadvantage playing at
that level at the time, but turned out to be … Well, at
Grant, they didn’t let us in the high school gyms to
practice, because they didn’t want kids tearing up the
gyms. So, we always had to play outside. My practice
arena was my court at home, my driveway. And then we’d
play in the park all the time, and because you couldn’t
play in the gym, and whenever you did during the season,
it was a special thing. So, there was something special
about it during the season. So that didn’t hurt me as
much, it was just the quickness of the game that was a
In general, so many of those who
are great in high school at a sport aren’t in college,
and that’s because they didn’t adjust to the speed,
size, and quickness of the game. And if you don’t
practice against that or play against it all the time,
there is way to emulate that, so it’s easy to see why.
I think that was more evident to me
AFTER I was in college, because I played against some
really good players. Speaking of after college, I worked
for a couple of years, especially after Danny Nee said,
“you’re a better student than you are athlete.” That
kind of hurt my basketball ego, because I was an
academic All-American. So, he said, “No, you’d be better
off to start your career rather than play basketball,”
because I was thinking about playing in Europe.
So I moved to Texas, and after
spending one year in Austin, got promoted to Houston,
and started playing basketball since I didn’t know
anyone. I fell in love with it again like I used to be
in high school, and I played hours on end. And because
of that, I kept getting better and better. Then, I
started playing against some great players in Houston. I
was playing against Hakeem, Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone,
guys like that in the summer, along with some European
pros. And it was something you couldn’t emulate in
Later, I had a chance to go
overseas and play in Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico, Spain,
etc., and after playing and competing at such a high
level in Houston, and playing that level for three
years, it made the speed of the game that much easier
So, if you play against a top level
all the time, you learn to compete at that level, and
then it becomes easier when you play against others. So
playing against that higher competition makes you a much
better player. So yes, to answer your question, I think
the level hurt me a little, because I became much better
So the long way to answer is that I
loved Class C, and I think there are lots of great
players. But by virtue of playing at that level and that
speed, and the way the refs called the game, it was
much, much different from D-1, and hard to emulate that.
HHC: Your senior season of high school was
1982, and was one of the best years in Nebraska history.
Besides producing yourself and former teammate Dave
Hoppen, the state also produced Vic Lazzaretti and Kerry
Trotter, who both played at Marquette, and Ron Kellogg,
who went on to play at Kansas.
Do you feel it was pure
coincidence that so many gifted players came out at
once, or was there something to that?
No, I think it was just coincidence. I think growing up
on the average year, you had 1 or 2 major D-1 players
from Nebraska. And coincidentally that year (1982), we
had 7 or 8. Plus, in addition to those major D-1 guys,
you had people like Dana Janssen, who was the all-time
leading scorer at Wesleyan, who wasn’t mentioned in the
same breath, but should have been. Then you had Bart
Kofoed, who played at Westside, and he wasn’t like a
Dean Thompson Westside, but he went to Hastings one or
two years, then ended up in Kearney. Then, he played in
the NBA for several years.
talent level that year was unbelievable. Rising tides
raise all ships; I think the same think happens in
athletic levels like that. Kerry Trotter and Ron Kellogg
were just at such a high level. When I was a sophomore,
Kellogg was the first guy I’d ever known that was a
super stater as a sophomore. But because he was so good,
it made Trotter that good, and it made everyone raise
their level of game.
think you see that at all levels, and that’s why college
basketball recruiting is so important. You get one great
player who rises, like (Waymon) Tisdale at Oklahoma, and a guy like that just raises the teams level,
and everyone wants to play with him, and it makes their
team so much better.
HHC: You were
ranked as one of the nation’s forty best high school
basketball players your senior season, and this lead to
you signing with Duke. What made you choose the Blue
BJ: Coach K. Duke was and still is a
tremendous program. And at that time, it had gone
through a couple years of slowness with a new coach.
Nobody had heard of him, and he was a new guy and
unknown. But he was just such a tremendous recruiter. He
answered all our questions, he was a guy you could
trust, and in fact, he was the “go to guy” for us.
A lot of
recruiters came out to Grant, and as it turned out, we
asked him many questions and used him as a sounding
board. And he was a guy I could trust. At the time, my
father had passed away the summer before my senior year,
so in a sense, he was a father to me. And like most
great recruiters do, they recruit the Mom’s, and let
them know that when their sons go away, they will take
care of them.
turned out to be exactly like that, and not just with
me, but with guys like Danny Ferry, Johnny Dawkins,
Christian Laetner, etc. Just a tremendous coach and guy.
HHC: Did Moe Iba come close to landing you
out of high school?
BJ: Yeah, that was my second choice. I
loved Nebraska. I think the difference was that Coach K
was just a terrific recruiter. He said, “We’re
recruiting these 6 players, and here’s where I see you
fitting in. We’re not going to recruit another small
forward, and if you do what we think you can do, we
don’t need to recruit another one at your position.”
watched me at several camps, but Nebraska was my second
choice at the time.
played one season at Duke, in 1982-1983, and even
cracked the starting lineup a couple of times as a
freshman. Talk to us about your experience at Duke, and
what you remember most about it?
BJ: It was a great experience, because I
played with some great players. My freshman year was the
#1 recruiting class in the nation, with (Johnny)
Dawkins, Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, etc. And Duke had a
nice squad of guys who were there at the time. Chip
England, Tommy Emma, and some nice players who hadn’t
had a great season the year or two before, but with the
new coach, there was a lot of potential there.
HHC: We actually interviewed Jay Bilas,
your old freshman roommate and current ESPN analyst
awhile back, and he said that the team was sad to see
you transfer back to Nebraska. What made you choose this
decision, and do you have peace with the decision in
Duke was a great school and I enjoyed the experience.
It’s a super school with a lot of good people, and I
still have friends from Duke. I think my decision, most
of it had to do with my Father passing away right before
my senior year of high school. That was a bad deal, just
in the sense that I had two older brothers and two
younger brothers. The younger one’s were in high school.
And, my Mom was having a tough time with my Dad’s death,
and had my dad been living, I’d have known things were
okay back home. As it was, my Mom came out once, but I
was studying all the time or practicing. And I tried to
spend as much time as I could with her, but it was less
than optimal, which I felt bad about.
wanted to go back closer to the family and brothers, and
I loved Nebraska, I think Nebraska people are super. So,
I think that was a big decision. Plus, at the time, and
hindsight is 20-20, but Duke was having a tough year. We
were 10-17, and I think 11-17 the next year, or
something like that. We had the #1 recruiting class in
the nation, but the student newspaper at Duke said,
“Coach K has had his time, that he was a great recruiter
but he couldn’t coach.” So, there was a lot of
instability at Duke.
the Durham newspaper picked up on it, and said, “We
agree with it, we don ‘t think Coach K can coach, and we
think somebody else will take it to the next level.”
the time, I thought maybe there was instability, and
Nebraska had Dave Hoppen as a freshman, and were going
to the Final 4 of the NIT. There was a lot of stability
there, and also, the upperclassman at Duke helped me
decide, because a lot of them were saying, “You ought to
transfer, this is not a good ship to be on.” And that
enhanced my decision a lot.
is what it is. In hindsight, I loved playing at
Nebraska, but I should have stayed at Duke. And I know
that, I saw Bilas at the Final 4 last year, and we
really had a nice chat, and you never know, they were
talking about that class my freshman year. And three
years later, had I stayed and been with them, I would
have gone to the Final 4 and been #1 in the country.
They beat Kansas in the Final 4 and played against
Lousiville, losing 72-69 in the finals. I heard it about
100 times from friends or fraternity brothers at Duke,
but when Mark Alarie said it, it hit home. He said, “If
we had you, we would have won the national
never know, but Alarie and several others have told me
that they wish I would have stayed. I actually saw Coach
K six weeks ago here in Dallas. George and Barbara Bush
were there, along with five best selling authors, and
one of them was Coach K. So, I saw his wife and
daughter, and I gave them all a big hug and just chatted
with them, and it was great to see them again.
created something very, very special there at Duke. He
invited me back to play and be a part of their 20-year
reunion for the class of 1986. He said, “You didn’t
graduate with that team, but you ought to come back and
be a part of it.” They’ve really created a Duke
basketball family, and a lot of places talk about it,
but they really do have something special and do it
said all that, at Nebraska I had some great years, and I
loved my time there.
HHC: And we’d like to delve into that now!
Your first season on the court at Nebraska was
1984-1985, and you guys finished 16-14, along with a
nice run in the NIT. Individually, would you agree that
the season was kind of a roller-coaster ride for you, as
far as starting strong and finishing strong?
BJ: Yes. It was a sophomore year for me,
and my redshirt year had been terrific, because I got
really strong. But that year was up and down for me
personally, and after it, I was really looking forward
to the last two year’s of playing. We had some nice
talented players to look forward to.
HHC: 1985-1986 was a memorable year in
Nebraska basketball history, as it marked the first
modern day NCAA Tournament appearance for the Huskers.
Before we talk about this, we’d like to get your
thoughts on the “illegal practice” that took place at
Mabel Lee Hall. What do you remember about it?
BJ: No comment. (Laughs)
HHC: Ahh, fine! (Laughs) Now, onto
brighter things. In that same season of 1985-1986, you
guys won 19 games, and made the NCAA Tournament for the
first time in school history. How rewarding was that
season for you, especially considering the adversity
that the team had to overcome with the Dave Hoppen
injury and Moe Iba job speculation?
BJ: Unfortunately, that was the year I
didn’t play much. We were very happy as a team, and I
tried to do everything I could to help support the team.
But I played some at the beginning, and I came off the
bench there in mid-season, but then late in the year, I
just didn’t play at all. That was the same year people
were telling and screaming to put me in, and the more
they did, the less I played. So that was frustrating,
and it really tested me.
kind of the middle of the road, as far as what am I made
of? There was never a doubt in my mind to quit or
anything, but the next year, when I played and we had a
great year, a lot of people said, “I’m glad you stuck in
there and hung with it.” But to me, it was part of it.
Hopefully you play a lot, but sometimes you don’t. And
if you don’t, you can only do the things you can
control. And that was one of the things I couldn’t
respected him (Moe Iba) and his decision, but it was a
tough year, no doubt about it. And what made it really
difficult was that our team was doing well and I wasn’t
playing at all. At the same time, my class at Duke,
where I would have been a senior, was #1 at midseason,
and #1 the rest of the year, winning the ACC
that was very difficult, because a lot of people would
remind me of it. I loved Nebraska and liked the people
though, and I know that God had a purpose for it.
HHC: We talked
to Moe Iba awhile back, and he told us that he was
forced to resign by people not directly associated with
the basketball program. With this in mind, did his
resignation following the first-round tournament loss to
Western Kentucky surprise you, or were you guy’s kind of
BJ: He was forced out then, huh?
HHC: That’s what he told us!
Wow… Well, I think we were surprised by his resignation
because he had taken the team the farthest it had ever
been. We make the big dance after high expectations, and
then they let the coach go. I think it shocked
good man, Moe is, and he knows basketball. His Dad was a
terrific coach and leader, and his Dad would show up at
practices periodically, and was a joy to be around. Moe
knew his basketball. A friend of mine from Duke was a
shooting coach in the NBA for awhile, and he used to be
Grant Hill’s shooting coach. But, he used to see Coach
Iba, who scouted for the (Detroit) Pistons for awhile,
and he’d always say how good of a man he was. And, I ran
into the Athletic Director from Texas Tech last night,
Gerald Myers, and we talked a little bit. We played
against them several times at Texas Tech, and he’s good
friends with Moe, and I know that all of the old coaches
have a lot of respect for him.
things the right way, and was an honest guy who
recruited players the right away. It was unfortunate
that things happened that way, because we had just lost
that game in Charlotte, and he told us that it was his
last game, and that he wasn’t going to be coaching
anymore. It was just kind of a somber mood over the
team, you know? The season’s over, and it was just a
somber mood for everybody. And I know there was a lot of
uncertainty among the coaches, and it was just a tough
senior season of 1986-1987 was the first year of the
Danny Nee era. Before we talk about the season in depth,
talk to us about what the transition of coaches was
like. Was it difficult to change systems before your
No, not at all. My motivation was that I wanted to play,
and whatever it took, I wanted to play. So, I worked
out, worked out some more and then ran and lifted. And
I’d go play in the playgrounds, and just keep playing. I
tried to do whatever it took to be out on the court,
because I knew what it was like to ride the pine and I
didn’t like that.
HHC: In your own words, describe what kind
of coach and man Danny Nee was?
BJ: Danny was fun; he opened up the game.
He was fun to play for, and such a motivational coach. I
think he knows his basketball, but he knows players and
how to motivate them even better than that. He tried to
individually motivate them by what made them tick.
He was a
very disciplined coach, although I know that things
changed later, but he was very disciplined at that time,
and we needed that. We’d come from this season of
disarray, and there was a lot of frustration in the
system. The fans were tired of 7 passes and shoot a bad
shot, and getting beat 45-40. They wanted to see
basketball. I think everyone felt constrained in the
system, because it was just too much of a noose. And as
a shooter, which I am and was, you’ve got to let
shooters just shoot the ball. You just do, you just pick
the best ones out and let them shoot.
remember we played UCLA my sophomore year in the NIT,
with Reggie Miller and all of those guys. And the score
was like 10-8, and I had 3 of our first 4 baskets, or
something like that. And I was 3 for 3, but I missed a
shot, and he took me out, and he never played me the
rest of the game. Period. And Danny Nee said just the
opposite. He’d say, “Jackman, you’re a shooter, so shoot
the ball. Then shoot again and shoot again. If you miss
it, so what?”
kind of shocks you after you kind of get trained a
certain way, but that’s the way basketball should be
played. So, it was so much fun to play for him.
remember one of the first days of practice he told us
that we had to do things right both on the basketball
court and in the classroom. If you missed class, you’d
have to get up and run for an hour at 6 A.M. And 4 or 5
guys missed class, and they did in fact run for an hour,
and then we had to practice later that day. So, you
learn quickly not to miss class.
happens is if you have a disciplined system, which Danny
did at the time, it rewards people for doing the right
thing. And we did a lot of things as a team. In the
summer, we all stayed in Lincoln, working in the
morning, and then in the afternoon we ran and lifted
together. We just did things together and got to know
each other. We had never done that before.
reality, we didn’t have that talented of a team. Sure,
we had some nice players, but we didn’t have a center on
that team. I’m not a center, I’m a natural 3. You had
very good players in (Brian) Carr, (Bernard) Day, and
then you had everybody else. Anthony Bailous was a
terrific athlete, Henry T. Buchanan, Derrick Vick, Joel
Sealer, Mike Martz, and everyone. We totally gelled as a
was really, really fun, but it was fun basketball, so
that’s not surprising. You get rewarded for the right
things. If it’s the fist pass and you shoot a good shot,
so what? If you make a bad pass, so what? We’ll stop
them on the defensive end. As a player, you want to be
motivated and rewarded, and really just mix it up. It
was just really a fun brand of basketball, so that
carries over into all the practices.
they made a big deal out of practices and how
motivational they were, but they were just fun. In the
past, it was every man for himself, but when Danny came,
they put you on a line, and if one of the team members
missed a free throw shot at the end of practice, you
ran. If you hit both shots, you didn’t have to run, and
you could go back to the locker room. And I’ll tell you,
that last season, half the time, we’d stay until the
very end until the very last guy made his free throws.
like that create so much togetherness and teamwork, and
not just from the guys who make their shots, but from
people who miss. They see that “Hey, we are in the fox
hole together, we’re charging together.” And trust me,
that meant a hell of a lot.
to dinner together, we partied together, and that
carried over to the Beau Reid’s and guys like that who
carried that on for a little while. We had a fun year,
and we weren’t the most talented team, but we won some
games we shouldn’t have won because of hard work and
good coaching and a little bit of luck.
HHC: On the
court, 1986-1987 proved to be a huge success, as you
guys finished 21-12 and went deep into the NIT.
Individually, you led the team in rebounding, and were
selected to the Academic All-Big 8 team. Talk to us
about what you remember most of your senior season at
While at Nebraska, I built a lot of character, and have
lots of great memories, especially of that senior
season. It was classic, we went to New York, and this is
in the Holiday Tournament up in Rochester. And I think
it was Butler, Rochester, Nebraska, and somebody else
(San Francisco). And it wasn‘t a big tournament, but it
was Nebraska’s first win of a tournament, I think ever.
Or if not, in 40 years or something.
the fact that we won, and the drinking age was 18, and
Coach Nee just bought us a case of beer. (Laughs) And he
was from New York, so he said, “You guys have to have
some Ale, because that’s what we drink here.” And we
told him that we wanted to party with the trophy.
have pictures of Keith Neubert drinking out of this big
trophy. And Danny Nee came in and said, “That’s awesome
guys, rock on.” I told coach the trophy would be in the
case the next 100 years and never be touched again, but
tonight, we were partying with it. And he was totally
cool with it.
year was also great with the NIT trip to New York City,
which we really earned by beating Marquette, Washington,
and Arkansas. And we were just on such a high, and I
know that in the past, teams would go (to the NIT finals
in New York) and have a difficult time practicing and
hate the trip. But Coach Nee said, “Guys, you earned
this trip, so have fun, and practice isn‘t until
had all day and all night to enjoy what we earned. And
what a thrill for him to coach at Madison Square Garden,
and for us players to play there. We didn’t do the
Hoosiers thing where they do the tape thing, but he
said, “Stop, and come here to center court. Look around,
there’s Bill Bradley’s banner, there’s Walt Frazier’s,
and there’s World Championships. I grew up here, and
this is the place guys, nothing is better than this. But
also, look at the baskets, they are both 10 feet. So
remember that it’s the garden, but its normal
kind of what he did, saying it’s a special place, but
it’s not unlike the Devaney Sports Center. So things
like that made things fun and very memorable.
HHC: We were
going to ask for a Danny Nee story to add to our list,
but you’ve already done that for us! We love that guy.
BJ: Oh yeah, definitely, I liked Danny a
lot. And over the course of his career, and he and I
have talked about this, but I was sad to hear that the
discipline broke down. And I’ve been asked many times
what his issue was, and I don’t really know, but I had
heard about different players saying they were tired and
not practicing on that day, and it punishes other guys
for doing the right thing. And when the system breaks
down, all hell breaks loose, no matter how good of
players you have.
some really nice players that wanted to play hard, but
just had some real bad apples on their teams. I wasn’t
there, but from what I hear, it sounds like they didn’t
manage those guys that well. They wanted to win so much
that the system broke down. The best programs make the
rising tides raise all ships and do the right thing, and
its unfortunate that happened there.
HHC: When was
the last time you talked to Danny?
BJ: We had a great conversation his last
year (1999-2000). I called him up, and hadn’t had a
heart to heart with him in a long time, so he and his
wife and I all went to dinner. I thanked him for the
discipline he instilled in us, because he was hard on
us, but he was caring, as opposed to being a tough guy
who didn’t give a crud about you. He would say, “Son, I
believe in you, that’s why I’m yelling at you, and
that’s why you’re going to run.” And that motivates you
to do more. My friends who have played with Coach K over
the years, that’s what they say they love about Coach K.
While you’re in the program, it’s very challenging,
because he’s always pushing you to maximize yourself as
a basketball player and person. And you appreciate
yourself more and more out of the program. He doesn’t
allow you to just get by. And he instills that in you
the four years that he has you, and it carries over.
besides that dinner I had with Danny, I also remember
one time speaking with him at a high school athletic
banquet. I spoke first, and he went second. And it was
really good to hear his motivational speech to
non-players. He just had a lot of wisdom and great
things to say, but what I liked most was, and it was
either Grand Island or Kearney, but somebody had dropped
me off, but I drove back with him to Lincoln.
enjoyed talking about life with him that whole drive,
just as far as what he saw for me in my life and even
about his life. He was the one responsible for me in a
good way. He said, “Whatever you do, get a job outside
of Nebraska. I know you love Nebraska and love the
people here, but it would be to easy and comfortable for
you to stay here.” And I said, “But I want to stay
here.” And he said “But if you stay here, you don’t have
to be challenged, because people will recognize you, and
I don’t think they’d know who you are. You need to go to
a place where nobody knows you, and find out who you
are. You can always come back, but if you don’t leave
Nebraska, you’ll never leave. And when you’re older,
you’ll wish you would have, because when your 35 or 40,
you won’t have the opportunity to leave because of
sat down with him and his wife at that dinner years
later, I was just thankful for that, and I told them
that, because while it was very challenging going to
places where I didn’t know anybody, it was character
building and just kind of helped me figure out who I was
and what life was about, and the direction I wanted to
go. And ultimately, it kind of led me to basketball
again, and it was my choice this time.
speaking of that, what has Bill Jackman been doing since
1987, and where is he at today?
Well, in 1987 I moved to Texas and worked for a company
called Data Documents, which was an Omaha based company.
I worked for them one year in Austin, and two years in
Houston. And like I said, when I moved to Houston, I had
been tired of basketball, but I fell in love again with
basketball there. I started playing two and three times
a week. And there were some times in the summer where we
would have 17 or 18 NBA players and just me and another
guy. I was one of the guys who kind of ran the gym, and
it was such good basketball, because if you lost, you
might sit for two hours. So it was a very high level.
So I did
that, and then quit my job after a couple NBA players
said, “You are crazy for not playing anymore. If you hit
the right team at the right time, you have a chance to
play in the show.” So I played professionally for a
couple of years. I tried out with the Houston Rockets,
and then went to Mexico for six months, New Zealand for
six months, and tried out with the Omaha Racers. And, I
played in the Global Basketball League in Lousiville
Kentucky and Albany Georgia. I played in Columbia,
Venezuela, and kind of finished in Spain.
all, I played with 18 teams in 3 years, but loved it. I
was single at the time, and just played all the time and
just stayed in shape. In Columbia, I saw guys who could
jump out of the gym that were terrific athletes, but I
knew I could score on them from playing in Houston, and
it made a difference. I scored 30 a game in New Zealand,
and sometimes 20 or 25 in Columbia. My goal when I was
playing was to go as far as I could and see as much of
the world as I could.
said, the NBA is just another level. In a perfect
situation, I could have made it, as a shooter and
scorer, but every team has their shooters and scorers,
so they weren’t going to call my number.
that, I was roughly 30, and went to a business school in
Chicago and got an MBA there. And was in school with two
of my younger brothers, and went to New York City and
worked at Goldman Sachs for just over ten years. And
then I’ve now opened a high net worth office of Morgan
Stanley. I’m married to a girl from England, Zoe, and
we’ve been married 11 years with 3 kids, and they are
HHC: And are
they going to play at Nebraska?
BJ: (Laughs) Gonna try. I’m raising them
on the Huskers. I do still follow the team some, and I
have some friends that email me, plus I check out the
scores. And, I’ve met Coach Collier and think he’s a
great guy, and I want to wish him the best.
HHC: If we set you up an e-mail account at
firstname.lastname@example.org , would you be willing
to take some e-mails from the fans?
Oh absolutely, I’d love that. I’m glad you guys are
doing this, because they need that mentality there of
developing a long term winner and legacy with a coach,
where you just have one guy there forever. We had it at
Duke, they have it at North Carolina, and they had it
there with Osborne.
need former players coming back and being coaches in the
summer at camps, or talking to players before games in
the locker room, just the old recognizable alumni.
Utilize them and bring them together as a family, which
is something I don’t think they’ve done well there.
they do things like that, and with recruiting, when they
recruit a kid, playing an away game just for him at
least once or twice during his career, it will help a
ton. Coach K scheduled a game at Colorado just for me,
Bilas got one out in California against UCLA where he
was from, etc. Just stuff like that, and I know they
can’t really do that until they start having a little
more success, but I really want to see them win and do
well, and I think this will help a lot, so I’m awfully
glad you’re doing this and to be a part of it.
HHC: Great. Thanks a lot for your time