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    Then & Now: Chris Cresswell

    Then & Now:

    Chris Cresswell

    Compiled By Dave Brandon (Photo Courtesy NU

    Media Relations)

    Cresswellpage.jpgChris Cresswell was a three year

    letter-winner at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    from 1990-1992.

     While at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , Cresswell played in the NCAA

    tournament two seasons.  Individually, Cresswell

    broke into the top ten in several

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    three-point shooting records. Chris

    recently took the time to join HHC after we hunted him

    down somewhere out on the left coast.

    HHC: Chris, we

    appreciate you taking a few minutes and joining us on

    HHC.

    CC: No problem. A new

    audience is a good thing. My mother is tired of me

    making her watch my highlight tape!!

    HHC: (laughs) A lot

    of people forget that you started your college career at

    Cal-Irvine in 1987.  What made you choose Cal-Irvine,

    and was

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    one of the original schools that

    recruited you in high school?

    CC: Who wouldn’t jump

    at the chance to be an Anteater! I took trips to

    w:st="on">Montana

    , Pepperdine and

    UCI. I guess

    w:st="on">Irvine

    was the happy medium between possibly

    being mauled by bears on campus or living campus life

    like scenes from the “OC.” 

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    did not contact me while in high

    school.

    HHC: Inevitably, the

    next question is going to be what made you decide to

    transfer away from UC Irvine, and how did a

    California boy end up in

    Nebraska?

    CC: I remember

    watching a Saturday football game between Texas and

    Oklahoma while in the dorms at UCI. I caught glimpses of

    those schools’ campus life during outtakes from the

    game. Those schools seemed more like college then the

    commuter school that was UCI. I wanted to be part of

    that type of environment. When I decided to leave, I

    called every good football program that had an average

    basketball team, as that was more in line with my skill

    level. I got lucky that

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    had an available scholarship.

    HHC: Prior to coming

    to

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , what had you heard about the

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    program?  And no

    lies!

    CC: I knew that they

    were known as the Cornhuskers!

    HHC: Upon arriving in

    w:st="on">Lincoln

    , you seemed to fit in well, as you led the Huskers

    in 3-point percentage as a sophomore, were second on the

    team in 3-pointers made, and poured in 17 points in a

    game at

    w:st="on">Michigan

    w:st="on">State

    .  What enabled you to pick up the

    system so quickly?

    CC: When you’re a 1

    tool player it’s pretty easy.

    1) Square up to basket

    2) Close eyes

    3) Pray

    4) Shoot

    HHC: Our apologies if

    we bring back bad memories, but just as quickly as

    things seemed to be going great your sophomore year, you

    saw your playing time cut back significantly as a

    junior, as you only appeared in ten games.  That had to

    be character building - how did you accept this and make

    it a positive experience?

    CC: We were very deep

    my junior year at every position. I was the odd man out.

     On the character, the jury is still out. It was easy to

    enjoy the success of the team. We went from the worst

    team in school history to the best in one year. The

    dynamic created by the success played out in many

    interesting ways that year.  Some painfully true colors

    came out in people behind the scenes.

    HHC: Things improved

    your senior season, and before the 1991 campaign, Danny

    Nee was quoted as saying about you "I believe he's going

    to bring that 3-point shot to the table and will be a

    very effective player coming off the bench at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    .  I've told him not to dribble when

    he gets the ball, just shoot it."  What did that kind of

    confidence from your coach do for you?

    CC: Pretty funny

    quote considering he asked me to leave the team after

    every season! In retrospect perhaps it was an attempt to

    test my character, or maybe he really did want me off

    the team. Danny Nee never made an even passing attempt

    to understand who I or any of his players were as

    people. He made assumptions about us and stuck with

    those as gospel. As for the dribbling, he was right on!

    HHC: (laughs) By the

    way, would you believe us if we told you we are

    remembering all of this and don't own any media guides?

    CC: In a word…Scary

    HHC: That’s what our

    girl friends and wives all say, too!  Anyway, perhaps

    one of the biggest games of your career was in the 1992

    home game against

    w:st="on">Kansas

    , in which Jamar Johnson hit the

    dramatic buzzer beating three-pointer.  However, prior

    to that, Bruce Chubick had the "forgotten block," and

    you hit the "forgotten three-pointer" late in the game -

    walk us through that game and the play we're talking

    about - was it the biggest shot of your career?

    CC: No question it

    was the biggest shot. I’ll never forget Jamar hitting

    that shot and the crowd rushing the floor. I was out in

    a sea of students when the sea parted to let Roy

    Williams through. He was coming up to congratulate us on

    a great game. During all that madness he took the time

    to find as many of us as he could to shake our hands. I

    was so moved that after the season I wrote him a letter

    thanking him for that moment and his contribution to the

    Big 8. I assured him I did not intend to get into

    coaching incase he mistook my motivation for writing. He

    took the time to write a letter back, which I’ll be able

    to show my grandkids with pride. I took

    w:st="on">Kansas

    in every pool after I graduated, unless

    of course they were playing the Huskers!

    HHC: From your times

    at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , what do you remember most, both on and off the

    court, and when were you last in

    w:st="on">Lincoln

    ?

    CC: The competition,

    the friends, last call at the Rail, drunken sledding

    behind our house after beating Oklahoma.  Last time I

    was in Lincoln was when I

    moved my girlfriend (now wife) out from

    New York to

    San Francisco in ‘99.

    HHC: We asked Derrick

    Chandler last week and have to ask you as well -

    everyone seems to have at least one funny Danny Nee

    story.  Any classic ones that stand out in your mind?

    CC: I remember

    walking down a street in Paris after my senior

    season. Nee, Owens, Chubick, Piatkowski and I had just

    closed down a Parisian bar. We’d each stuffed our

    pockets with glasses from the bar, including Nee, to

    take home as souvenirs. He showed us his lighter side

    for about thirty seconds that night.

    HHC: (laughs)

    Nice! Finally, what is Chris Cresswell up to these days,

    both personally and professionally? Can you still shoot

    the rock like you used to?

    CC: I way

    overachieved in the personal category.  I married the

    most incredible women I’ve ever met three years ago. We

    live in San

    Francisco with our 4-month-old

    twin boys.  Quinn and Cooper were born on April 18 of

    this year and spent 10 weeks in the hospital, as they

    were 3 month premature. During this interview I had to

    pause to feed them both, which is a fun juggling act.

    Professionally I worked for a

    sports marketing firm in

    Denver (after a very brief, non-lucrative

    professional hoop career in

    w:st="on">Portugal

    ) (I made $500 a month and

    got free fish!)

    Now I own a sales agency with two

    good friends. We’ve represented brands like Nike, And 1,

    Adidas, Starter, Kangaroos and Tommy Bahama over the

    past 9 years. Our job is to get their lines placed in

    accounts from

    w:st="on">Denver

    to

    w:st="on">California

    .

    HHC: We're hoping to

    go three for three on this - would you be willing to

    take reader e-mails if we set you up an account at

    [email protected]?

    CC: Sure!

    HHC: Great - thanks a

    lot for your time, Chris, and we have to tell you one

    last thing - we think you have the coolest name of any

    basketball player in

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    history, just edging out Kimani

    Ffriend.

    CC: Ironically, I’ve

    legally taken back my birth name; I’m now Chris

    Carmichael.  Fortunately, I will not have to change any

    of my monogram gear!

    Editors Note: We love

    this guy! <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">



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