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    Then & Now: Keith Moody

    Then & Now: Keith Moody

    Compiled By Dave Brandon (Photo

    Courtesy NU Media Relations)


    Moody is one of the more intriguing players in Nebraska

    basketball history. Besides being a part of Danny Nee's

    first NCAA tournament team at Nebraska, and perhaps the

    best team in school history in 1990-1991, Moody also

    spent a year playing football at Virginia Tech.

    Keith recently joined HHC to talk a

    little Husker Hoops. 

    HHC: Keith, we're

    glad you decided to take a trip down memory lane with


    KM:  My pleasure. 

    It's always great to reminisce about the "glory days" of

    Husker hoops with the fellas!

    HHC: Before we get to

    your Nebraska days, lets talk a little bit about your

    intriguing past. First, from all accounts, you were an

    outstanding quarterback in high school at Herndon,

    Virginia, and recruited harder on the gridiron than on

    the court. You ultimately ended up playing one year at

    Virginia Tech as a redshirt quarterback. What made you

    decide to choose football over basketball, and did the

    fact that many saw you as more talented in football play

    a part in your decision?

    KM:  It was a very

    tough decision between which sport to pursue more in

    college, football or basketball?  The funny thing was in

    high school, we got more publicity & recognition in

    football as a team finishing 11-1, winning the Great

    Falls District Title, but losing in the Northern

    Region Finals in Northern Virginia.  Comparatively to

    basketball, we finished 24-6 and also lost in the

    Northern Region Finals as well.  We were one of the top

    teams in the area in football, but in basketball there

    were a number of good teams then, so it seems like we

    got more press for football and that kind of swayed my

    decision on pursuing football at the next level, but I

    never lost that love for basketball.  If I had to do it

    all over again, I would have attempted to play both

    sports at Nebraska.  The football coaches approached me

    about it playing DB at Nebraska, but I thought it would

    be best to focus just on basketball at the time.

    HHC: As you reflect

    almost twenty years later, what were your times in

    Blacksburg like, and what did they teach you? Was it

    while at Virginia Tech that you knew basketball was your

    true love, or did you know this well before that time?

    KM:  If I only knew

    then what I know now!  I was such a young "pup" enjoying

    being a scholarship athlete on such a big college campus

    and not truly organizing my priorities.  As most

    freshmen find out quickly, a college sport requires a

    lot of organization & time, not only in that sport, but

    also in the classroom.  Every day after football

    practice & weights, I would end up in the gym

    playing basketball and missing that sport more & more. 

    We even put together a squad of freshmen from the

    football team to play against the (at the time) JV

    basketball squad and would run them out of the gym every

    time!  That is probably where I started to make that

    transformation from football to basketball, mentally.  I

    learned that you need good organizational skills to

    balance out that daily schedule to stay ahead.

    HHC: After one season

    at Virginia Tech and a year off to focus on academics,

    you ended up at Hagerstown Junior College (Md.) to play

    basketball. At what point did Nebraska enter the picture

    in basketball, and what made you venture halfway across

    the country to Lincoln?

    KM:   When I

    eventually ended up at Hagerstown, I had to sit out the

    first semester because I didn't have enough credits

    transferring in to be eligible to play right away. So, I

    had to focus even harder on the books then, but I

    practiced with the team everyday even though I was

    basically on the 3rd team.  That made my desire so

    strong then and I was so determined to succeed in

    basketball that once I became legible, I was going to

    kill everyone on the court.  I instantly started at the

    point once I became eligible on the first day of the 2nd

    semester.  We won our region and advanced to the NJCAA

    Tournament out in Hutchinson, KS.  We were paired

    against the College of Southern Idaho, who at the time

    was ranked #1 in the country.  We were big underdogs,

    but as is the case so many times, we out worked them and

    upset them by 6 and were the toast of the town during

    the rest of the tournament.  I was fortunate enough to

    have a very successful tournament and so I started

    receiving scholarship offers from schools out in the

    Midwest & western regions.  Nebraska came after me with

    an offer to play right away & great education. I liked

    what I saw down in Lincoln and so I made the decision to

    go there.

    HHC: Now this is

    honestly true... When you first got to Lincoln, some

    thought your arms were too strong and you might be "too

    ripped" to shoot from the outside at a high percentage.

    Our first question is, do you think that is the dumbest

    thing you've ever heard like we do? Second, did this

    help you pick up the ladies back in the day?

    KM:  Too funny!  I do

    admit I was & still am built compact like a football

    player & I do remember hearing the "talk" back then on

    campus that there is a football player playing point

    guard for the basketball team.  I bulked up so much

    at Virginia Tech in the weight room preparing

    for football, that during my first semester at

    Hagerstown, I quietly was taking aerobic classes in the

    auditorium to "slim" down.  One day my coach, Jim

    Brown was passing through and happened to glance up on

    stage and found me dancing around with about 15 other

    women/teachers, NO OTHER MEN!  He actually sat down and

    watched in amazement and appreciated what I was doing to

    get ready to play ball when I became eligible.  Now as

    far as the second question about the ladies . . .  NO

    COMMENT, but they know.

    HHC: While we have

    the chance, and speaking of the ladies, who were the

    "true ladies men" on your two teams?

    KM:  Hmmmm, there are

    just some secrets that I just cannot give out.  Maybe

    over a beer or two, we can have this "private"

    conversation, but we did have a few "ladies men" on the

    team then…

    HHC: Okay, sorry,

    back on track, but we think Cresswell was one...Anyway,

    your first year at Nebraska, you stepped in and

    contributed right away, playing in all twenty eight

    games and finishing second on the team in assists.

    However, the team finished a miserable 10-18. The next

    year would be much different, obviously, but be honest;

    did you have any clue at that point what was in store a

    year later?

    KM:  Not at all and

    to be honest, I don't think anyone on the team

    including the coaches did either.  We had good

    individual players, but could not put it together as a

    team and did not know each other well enough to trust

    each other on & off the court.  In the off-season, we

    simply hung together as group/team in everything we did

    to become unified and establish that trust amongst each

    other.  When practice opened up in the fall, we were

    hungry and anxious to show the Big 8 and nation what we

    could do.  Everything was falling in place as we had a

    great season, but finished short of our goals (Big 8

    Championship & advance to 2nd round of NCAA) even though

    we finished with the best record in school history of

    26-8.  That is why most of us from that team are still

    close & talk today.

    HHC: Now, onto

    1990-1991, which we still get goose bumps

    thinking about. You were pre-season picked eighth in the

    Big 8, and of course went on to a 3rd place Big 8 finish

    with a 26-8 record, fourteen straight weeks in the top

    twenty-five, a fourteen game winning streak, the

    school's second NCAA tournament appearance, and a finish

    in some polls as high as nine. As a team, what are you

    most proud of from that year, and just elaborate about

    your memories?

    KM:  There were so

    many great memories of that glorious season.  The big

    win at Oklahoma and sarcastically smiling at Billy Tubbs

    as I shook his hand (they beat us by 39 the year

    before)!  Finally beating Kansas at home.  The buzzer

    beater by Beau Reid at home against Michigan St.

    (Steve Smith talked trash the whole game, but was cool

    about it). Beating Doug Smith & Anthony Peeler of

    Missouri at home and of course our double overtime

    victory in the opening round of the Big 8 Tournament

    against Oklahoma!  The best memories though were the

    plane rides to & from the games or in the locker room as

    there were many, many jokes/pranks on each other and

    coaches included (although we were too scared to get

    Coach Nee).

    HHC: We can't talk

    about 1990-1991 without talking about "the shot" against

    Oklahoma in the first round of the Big 8

    tournament. Since you know exactly what we're talking

    about, walk us through the moment and tell us what

    happened. Also, what did it mean to you then and what it

    does mean to you now?

    KM:  I remember being

    down by almost 10 points late in the game and Coach Nee

    calling a timeout and getting a technical foul to pump

    us up.  He chewed us out during that timeout on the

    court and it worked.  We started to make our run as most

    of our starters fouled out of the game, but the momentum

    was on our side by then.  They were at the foul line

    shooting a 1-&-1 with only about 8 seconds left and up

    by 3 points.  They missed the first shout and we got the

    rebound and I was sprinting up court with the ball

    looking for Chris Cresswell because everyone in the

    gym was covering Pike!  I didn't have a clear path to

    Chris and as I was approaching the top of the key with

    the clock running out, I looked down to ensure I was

    behind the 3 point line and then jumped up to still

    possibly pass to one of those guys, but to shoot if I

    had to and since nobody was open (don't argue Chris) I

    pulled the trigger and let the shot fly and it dropped

    in to tie the game.  Everyone on the bench was jumping

    up & down and the ball just kept bouncing as the clock

    ticked towards zero.  It seemed like a big panic because

    all 10 guys on the floor from both teams were just

    running around trying to cover one another.  Once we got

    into OT, we had all the confidence in the world and just

    knew the game was ours.  Our intensity picked up on both

    ends of the court as we simply wore them down for the

    victory.  It was hard to go to bed that night because we

    were so pumped up and everyone in our hotel was partying

    for most of the evening!  That memory will last for the

    rest of my life and I still get people to this day that

    ask me about it.  The funny thing is that the following

    year, Jamar Johnson hit a buzzer beater at home to beat

    KU and people mistake me for hitting that shot . . .

    thanks Jamar!

    HHC: We can't let you

    go without asking you for a classic Danny Nee story.

    From already talking to several former players, we are

    convinced you could write a book with hilarious Nee

    stories. Could you add one or two for us?

    KM:  Well, Beau Reid

    stole my hilarious story about the "cage" at Coach Nee's house

    so let me think of another story.  Well, I can't think

    of one single story, but there are many, many little

    episodes from Coach Nee in practice.  He was such an

    intense guy on & off the court, we were constantly

    walking on "egg shells" whenever we were around him

    because he could blow up at any minute.  We would avoid

    walking by his office to & from practice because you did

    not want to get called into his office by yourself! 

    There were many times somebody would make a stupid, but

    honest mistake in practice and he would stop practice

    instantly, curse you out and make the entire team run

    (damn, this feels like a tell all book).  After practice

    in the locker room, you would hear about it from all

    your teammates!

    HHC: And today, Keith

    Moody is doing what, living where, and still playing

    hoops or no?

    KM:  Today life is

    great.  I currently live in Omaha, NE and work for a

    great company called CSG Systems, Inc.  I also have a

    beautiful 16-month-old son name Donovan from my

    girlfriend of 11 years (I know it is a long time to not

    be married).  I still work out like a mad man (twice a

    day still) and play hoops in multiple leagues, still

    chasing that dream of going pro like my ex-teammates

    (excluding Pike) . . . hahahaha! 

    HHC: Are you cool

    with taking e-mails at

    [email protected] and talking with some

    of our readers?

    KM:  Certainly.  It

    would be great to communicate with all of the readers! 

    HHC: Awesome, thanks

    a lot for catching up with us Keith. We'll e-mail you if

    we need advice on how to stay chiseled and pick up the

    ladies, all right?

    KM:   My pleasure and

    good luck with this website.  It is off to a great

    start!<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

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