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    Then & Now: Derrick Chandler

    Then & Now: Derrick Chandler

    Compiled By Dave Brandon (Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)

    chandlerpage.jpgDerrick

    Chandler, a 6’11” center originally from

    w:st="on">Hyattsville

    , Maryland,

    appeared in the NCAA tournament both seasons he played at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    (91-92 & 92-93.)

     Individually, Chandler

    holds the career record for blocked shots in a season at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , as he swatted

    away ninety-one shots in 1991-1992. Besides this,

    w:st="on">Chandler

    also ranks in the top ten in both career-blocked

    shots and career-rebound average at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    .

    Derrick recently joined Husker Hoops Central for an

    exclusive look at his life, both then and now.

    HHC: First off, thanks a lot for

    taking the time to update us on your life.

    DC: Not a problem, I’m happy to do

    this.

    HHC: You obviously had a lot of

    success while at Nebraska,

    both as a team and as an individual player.  Before we get into that,

    tell us how you ended up at

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , and what sold you on coming to a

    school that is viewed as a “football school?”

    DC: At the time, I wanted to be a

    part of something new, and I felt that the program was up and coming, so

    I think that’s one of the main reasons I came.  The other was the high

    graduation rate that

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    has.

    HHC: Have you been back to

    w:st="on">Lincoln

    since 1993, and

    what are your favorite memories of the town itself?

    DC: Last time I was in

    w:st="on">Lincoln

    to watch a game was

    in 1994, and then I came back again in 2000 to visit a couple of

    friends, Jamar Johnson and Terrance Badgett.  As for favorite memories,

    the town has grown so much since I’ve been there, so I can’t remember

    specific places, but wow!  I just remember you could get ten-cent

    chicken wings across the railroad tracks over there, you could take $5,

    and you could go and eat an awful lot.

    HHC: (laughs) I know where you’re

    talking about – didn’t that place have cheap tacos too?

    DC: Yeah, yeah!  I can’t remember the

    name, (laughs.)

    HHC: We can’t either, but it went out

    of business a couple of years back.  Anyway, you were a force in the

    paint while in

    w:st="on">Lincoln

    , as you are in the top ten in both

    career blocked shots and rebounding.  What kind of mindset did it take

    to accomplish that success right off the bat at such a high level of

    competition after coming from Alvin (TX.) JUCO?

    DC: I think tenacity and just wanting

    it more than your opponent was the key.  That was one of my strengths; I

    didn’t want to feel that somebody was working harder than me on the

    court.  I think that when you bring an attitude like that, your

    teammates and the fans feed off that.

    HHC: A lot of people remember you for

    your defense, but you were also second on the team as a senior in

    scoring, at 11.2 PPG.  What did you take more pride in, blocking a shot

    or scoring, and why?

    DC: If you asked me that now, I would

    say probably blocking a shot.  And, I guess that back then, I would say

    the same thing, because blocking a shot can totally change the tempo of

    a game.

    HHC: You were involved in a lot of

    big games at

    Nebraska, but

    which game sticks out most, and any particular plays that you made

    personally?

    DC: The game that sticks out most

    would have to be against

    w:st="on">Kansas

    my junior year. I think

    Kansas was

    ranked like #7. We were losing almost the whole game, and then we made a

    run. We were down two points with like 0.5 seconds on the clock, and

    Jamar (Johnson) hit that three-pointer in the corner with no seconds on

    the clock.  That was one of the highlights as a team.  For me

    personally, I would say the game against Oklahoma when I had like

    eighteen points and twenty rebounds, and coach Nee told me “you should

    have had thirty,” (laughs.)

    HHC: Speaking of coach Nee, what was

    it like playing under him, and do you remember any classic Danny Nee

    moments?

    DC: Coach was funny; he’s a great guy

    and great motivator.  He let our team achieve great things with not a

    lot of talent by making us reach from within and overachieve.  Its sad

    he’s not there anymore, but I understand that people move on.  One of

    best stories I can remember was when we were playing

    w:st="on">Oklahoma

    , and coach

    didn’t too much care for Billy Tubbs, and Tubbs didn’t care too much for

    coach, it was obvious.  It was my senior year, and coach Nee said, “We

    want to score 100 points on Tubbs, we’re not going to let these Sooners

    beat us. We want to run them out the gym, so all we’re doing today is

    shooting.”  So he took a timeout and said, “What are you doing, we need

    to shoot more.” You gotta love coach.

    HHC: Classic. And now about the

    “now.” Before we get into what you are doing today, how long did your

    professional basketball career last after you left

    w:st="on">Nebraska

    , and where did

    it take you?

    DC: I think I had a good run - I left

    Nebraska and first went to

    w:st="on">Turkey

    .  The

    year after that I played in

    w:st="on">Spain

    , and the following year was a tryout with

    the Suns before going to

    w:st="on">France

    .  In

    w:st="on">France

    ,

    I actually played with Tony Farmer and Eric Johnson, which was a lot of

    fun.  Then I played in

    w:st="on">Italy

    for two years, before coming

    back and tearing my Achilles twice while trying to make the Bullets and

    Mavericks. I had a good run, almost ten years, or eight years total.

    HHC: And today, what is Derrick

    Chandler up to, both personally and professionally?

    DC: Personally, I’m married with two

    great kids.  Professionally, I’m the Assistant Director of the

    Foundation For Adventist Health Care.  I’m not too active anymore

    playing ball, but I like to go watch. I’m mostly just focusing on my

    career.

    HHC: Sounds like everything is going

    well. Hey, your former teammate Bruce Chubick was on the site last week,

    and he agreed to take e-mail from the fans. If we create you an e-mail

    account through our website, would you be willing to take some e-mails

    at

    [email protected] ?

    DC: Yeah, I don’t mind, I love to see

    and hear from Nebraska

    fans. Here in the D.C. area, I don’t get to read or bump into them much,

    so that would be great to hear from some Huskers!

    HHC: Thanks a lot for taking the time

    to update us on where “DC” is these days.

    DC: Not a problem, I think this is

    great what you are doing for the program, and I know a lot of my old

    teammates agree with me.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">



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