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    Then & Now: Mike Naderer

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    Then & Now: Mike Naderer

    Compiled By Dave Brandon

    (Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)

    Mike%20Naderer.jpgMike

    Naderer played at Nebraska from 1978-1981, and is among

    the Top 60 scorers in NU history (657 points). Naderer

    started at guard for parts of each of the four seasons

    he played at Nebraska, and played for both Joe Cipriano

    and Moe Iba.

    Naderer

    is our latest Sunday guest on this edition of "Then &

    Now."

    HHC: Mike, thanks for taking a trip down memory

    lane with us. We've always wondered, where did your

    nickname of "Skater" come from?

    MN: Oh, I had some high school kids

    actually name me that. I don’t know if you remember Nate

    Archibald that played at UTEP, but his name was “Nate

    the Skate.” But anyway, that worked into Skater because

    it rhymed with Naderer, so it was pretty simple. Do you

    remember him?

    HHC: Yeah, I remember the name.

    MN: Yeah, he

    played for three or four NBA teams, Nate “Tiny”

    Archibald. Guys my age will remember who he was.

    HHC: You were one of the most heralded

    high school players in the southwest, as you came to

    Nebraska from Scottsdale, Arizona, after averaging 22

    points, 12 assists, and 6 steals as a high school

    senior. What was your reason for coming to Nebraska, and

    what did you know about Husker Hoops before coming to

    Lincoln?

    MN: I actually had followed pretty much

    all of the basketball in the Midwest. One reason is that

    when I visited there, I was just really impressed with

    the new Bob Devaney Sports Center, which was like two

    years old at that time.

    But it

    was just great people, and the whole academic

    administration was tremendous back then. When they

    recruited me, they did a great job, and it felt like I

    was high on their list, so I had visited some other

    places, but when I visited there, they pretty much sold

    me on Lincoln.

    HHC: Talk to us about Joe Cipriano, as far

    as what kind of man he was, and how was your

    relationship with him?

    MN: He was a great man. I still am very

    good friends with his son today, and we see each other

    once a year or so. And Joe was the one who brought me

    in, and obviously gave me my first chance to start as a

    freshman, and had confidence enough in me that it worked

    out for me, because I got to play quite a bit those four

    years.

    He was

    just a great man, and he was the Dean of the Big 8 at

    the time, and having read on him when they were

    recruiting me from pamphlets they sent, he was probably

    the main reason that I attended the University of

    Nebraska.

    HHC: As a coach, how would you describe

    Joe Cipriano and what he believed in?

    MN: You know, I wasn’t really big in stature, if

    you remember, and he was probably the same way when he

    played in college. He gave me a lot of confidence and

    said that “you don’t measure what’s inside people, as

    far as the heart,” and he gave me my first shot. He was

    very firm and stern, but also very fair, and gave his

    players free reign within the system, and gave everyone

    an equal shot, and I think that’s all you can ask for

    from any coach.

    HHC: Your freshman year at Nebraska was

    1977-1978, and you started 16 of the 28 games while

    "battling the flu" half of the season. How did that

    hinder you, and what exactly did you have?

    MN: Well, I got my first start the very

    first game against Missouri Southern and played pretty

    well. And then I started like the next 14 or 15, and

    then my only two games that I missed in my entire career

    were that year and due to the flu. I remember coming

    back from the Oklahoma State trip and it knocked me

    down, and I battled it for the next week or two, but I

    did get to play quite a bit that last half of the year.

    And I’ll tell you what, we had a good team that year,

    and that was before they enlarged the tournament to the

    field of 64, and if it were today’s game, we probably

    would have been in the NCAA had it been larger.

    But

    yeah, my freshman year was probably out most successful

    overall.

    HHC: Let’s talk a little bit more about

    that year. For the season, you guys finished 22-8,

    making the school's first post-season appearance (2nd

    Round of NIT) since 1966-1967. On that team were players

    like Brian Banks and Carl McPipe. Talk about how special

    it was playing with those guys, and what you remember

    from that year?

    MN: I came in and played alongside Brian,

    and I felt that Brian, when he was a junior, was

    probably the best guard in the Big 8, and at both ends

    of the floor. There were some great ones with Darnell

    Valentine and Larry Blackman, but Brian was right up

    there. With Brian, I thought that I played against the

    best guard in the conference each day in practice.

    And Carl

    McPipe was a great inside post man at his size, as he

    was only about 6’6”. He wasn’t real big, but he did

    really rebound well, and shot the ball midrange real

    well. Terry Novak, who is one of my best friends to this

    day, was one of the small forwards on that team, and he

    was just such a great role player. And we had Curt

    Hedberg and Andre Smith, who was also a freshman

    alongside me, and we did most of the playing from the

    freshman standpoint.

    But all

    those guys were great to play with, and it was a great

    team that meshed together, and I think we were like 11-0

    or 12-0 before we lost one, and maybe made the Top 20

    that year, although we ended up losing to Texas in the

    second round of the NIT, though they went on to win the

    NIT.

    All in

    all, it was a great year, going away from home and

    having success that early in my career.

    HHC: 1978-1979 was your sophomore season,

    and you started all but three games in the Husker

    backcourt on a team that went 14-13. The strength of

    that team was defense, which you ranked ninth nationally

    in, and first in the Big 8. How much of that defensive

    success was due to Moe Iba?

    MN: Probably

    100% of it. Coach Cipriano had really let Moe take over

    the reigns coaching wise at that time, especially

    defensive schemes in practice. Moe was such a great

    defensive coach, and he demanded it number one, and you

    pretty much didn’t play at the University of Nebraska

    unless you could play solid defense. And he got that

    point acrossed and really sold it, and the players

    bought into it, so that’s probably why we were so

    successful defensively.

    HHC: Was it after the 1979 season that you

    found out that Cip had cancer, or was it not until the

    beginning of the following season?

    MN: It was

    more the beginning of the following year. I remember in

    the fall we came back, and we knew he had been

    diagnosed, we just didn’t know how severe. And he

    battled it, and I think we took a trip to Hawaii, and we

    came back, and it just got worse as the days went by.

    But he did make his trip to Hawaii, and I think that was

    one of his goals, and he was pretty much with us right

    until the very end, until it just got to the point where

    he couldn’t attend games.

    HHC: 1979-1980

    was your junior season, and you guys finished 18-13 with

    another NIT appearance, while also finishing 2nd in the

    Big 8. How special was it having Joe Cipriano be there

    on the bench for that season while Moe Iba helped out as

    Associate Head Coach?

    MN: It was a

    great experience for both of them. They were great

    coaches, and both complimented each other as coaches.

    They had a great, strong relationship, and they just

    worked so well together. And it was just easy as a

    player to fit into their system, and they gave you a lot

    of support, but yet they pushed and drove you to be a

    better player and do well in the classroom and do things

    on and off the court in a respectful manner. You

    couldn’t ask for two better college coaches to play for.

    HHC: Prior to your senior season of

    1980-1981, Cip continued to become seriously ill, before

    ultimately passing away a few days before the season

    opening game against Wyoming. What do you remember about

    this, and how difficult was it to go through?

    MN: I remember

    doing an interview on TV right before the Wyoming game

    after he had passed. It was a difficult period for most

    of us, and personally for me, because I had a lot of

    respect for him, and he obviously gave me a great chance

    to play at that level.

    And like

    I said, he was the reason I came there, and my parents

    were really impressed with him when he came to Arizona

    to recruit me. And he just followed through and showed a

    lot of care for his athletes. It was just a very hard

    time for a week or two right after that, and probably,

    as most people remember, it was easier to just play for

    him and stay busy when you go trough something like

    that.

    But it

    definitely affected us in the next couple of weeks and

    months to follow, and then you go through that phase of

    grief, and then afterwards, when the season ends, it

    really sinks in.

    HHC: What do you remember about the last

    time you saw Cip, as far as what he said or what sticks

    out?

    MN: I remember visiting him at his house,

    and again, Terry Novak and myself had gone over there

    and visited him at the time, and a couple people were

    over, and I don’t really remember who, but we just

    wanted to see him. We knew it was kind of getting late,

    and we didn’t know how much longer he’d be with us, and

    it seemed like within three or four days after that, it

    happened.

    It was a

    real special time because it was pretty much just the

    three or four of us in there, and we spent some good

    quality time with him. And it became very sad, but as

    Terry and I remember looking back, we got to see him in

    pretty good spirits the last time, and it just was very

    special.

    HHC: Moe Iba

    took over as head coach for your senior season of

    1980-1981, and your team went 15-12. Do you feel that

    team rallied around Coach Iba and Cip and overachieved,

    or was it right about where it should have been?

    MN: It

    probably was right about where it should have been. That

    year I don’t know if we lost Ray Collins for a little

    bit to a broken foot, but I think that was the year, and

    at the time, we were at Colorado, and were playing well,

    and we were near the top of the Big 8. And he broke his

    foot, and that really hurt us, because we really lost a

    solid player in Ray, and probably didn’t recover as a

    team because he was really solid offensively and

    defensively. And we kind of went on a downward spiral,

    and we lost to Colorado at home in the first round of

    the playoffs. They had Jo Jo Hunter, and he scored a

    bunch on us, and they were just ready for the game and

    upset us at home.

    HHC: In that season, Andre Smith was Big

    8 Player of the Year. Talk about what kind of player and

    teammate he was?

    MN: Andre was a very good player. Again,

    another post player probably undersized, and that was a

    credit to Coach Iba and Cipriano. We weren’t real big,

    and Andre was the same size as Carl. They were just

    great players who learned to play with their backs to

    the basket. And we ran a motion offense, and learned how

    to pass the ball real well, inside and out, and it

    really allowed them to score.

    Both of

    them took advantage of that offensive system. And Moe

    did a great job with Andre and Carl, as far as

    instructing individually in the post. They were very

    skilled, but I think Coach Iba got the most out of all

    of us. We may not have been the most skilled players in

    the Big 8, but we seemed to play harder than everybody.

    HHC: And what about Jack Moore? What was

    he like, and did you keep in touch with him at all upon

    leaving Lincoln?

    MN: Yeah, I did, until his passing in the

    tragic plane crash. But Jack, at his size, overachieved

    at everything. You couldn’t take the basketball from him

    - he was very solid offensively. He was a great free

    throw shooter, and obviously above average outside

    shooter, but really took the ball to the basket. They

    list him at 5’8 or 5’9, and he was just unbelievable to

    play with. He was very good with setting you up, and

    that’s basically where I got my points, when I did

    score, was from him. He was very good at penetrating and

    drawing help and then kicking it to the open person.

    HHC: What are your favorite memories off

    the court at Nebraska, and when was the last time you

    were in Lincoln?

    MN: Last time I was in Lincoln was… Well,

    I usually visit once a summer to play golf, and I’ve

    taken my son back to two football games. Probably one of

    the most favorite memories of recent time has been

    taking my son Andrew, who is 11, with me. I took him

    back two years ago to see his first football game, and

    again, we stayed with Terry. And we got him into a Big

    Red football game.

    I think

    that kind of bonding, taking your son, is great. And I’m

    still trying to take him back to a basketball game. And

    I think we may be playing in a very competitive baseball

    tournament in Omaha, so we’re looking to come back there

    in June.

    HHC: Do you keep up with the current team

    at all?

    MN: I do. In fact, we bought a game on

    ESPN Full Court last night (Tuesday night, January 17,

    2006). I saw them play not so well against Iowa State,

    but I’m excited for them, and maybe somebody can slow

    Texas down, and maybe the rest of the league can catch

    them. Looks to me that after Texas, it looks wide open,

    but I was hoping they’d protect their home court last

    night, but maybe they’ll beat Kansas. So it looks like

    maybe they can go down there, and if they play a little

    bit better, beat them.

    HHC: We’d like that! Finally, what is Mike

    Naderer up to these days, and what has he been doing the

    last 25 years?

    MN: When I left Nebraska, I coached for

    six years at the college level. I did a grad assistant

    job at Nebraska, and then went to Drake and Baylor. Then

    I moved back to Arizona after six years and took over

    the head-coaching job at Coronado High School in

    Scottsdale Arizona, and I currently live in Phoenix,

    which is right next door.

    But I

    coached there for fifteen years, and just resigned two

    years ago so I could spend more time with my family and

    my son, and he’s very involved with youth sports. And I

    teach in the school system here, it’s my eighteenth

    year, and I’m an elementary physical education teacher,

    so I’m still heavily involved in youth sports, with

    Arizona Youth Basketball and Youth Baseball. So, I spend

    a lot of time at basketball gyms or baseball fields.

    HHC: That’s a

    good life right there!

    MN: (Laughs)

    You got it.

    HHC: Hey, if

    we set you up an email account at

    [email protected] , would you be willing

    to take some e-mails from our readers?

    MN: Sure.

    HHC: Awesome. Thanks a lot for your time

    Mike, and anything else you'd like to add?

    MN: No, this was great. I appreciate you

    contacting me and thinking about us old timers.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

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