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    Then & Now: Terrance Badgett

    Then & Now: Terrance Badgett

    Compiled By Dave Brandon

    (Photo Courtesy NU Media Relations)


    Terrance Badgett lettered at

    Nebraska from 1993-1996, and played on some of the best

    Nebraska teams of all-time. In fact, while at Nebraska,

    Badgett played on three twenty win teams, including the

    1993-1994 Big 8 title team, and the 1995-1996 NIT

    championship team. Individually, Badgett finished his

    Nebraska career in the top thirty of all-time scorers,

    as well as top ten in blocked shots.

    The 6’6” former forward recently

    joined HHC to reflect on the good old days of the mid

    1990’s, as well as the current times of the mid 2000’s.

    HHC: Terrance, we

    welcome you to HHC.

    TB: Thanks a lot, I

    love the site and am glad to help out.

    HHC: Before we get to

    your times at UNL, we want to reflect a little on your

    high school career at Omaha South. As a senior, you

    averaged 24.5 points per game and 11.0 rebounds, which

    enabled you to achieve the 1991 Gatorade Player of the

    Year honors. Also, in 1990, you lead your team to the

    state championship, and have often times been quoted as

    saying that was the best team you were ever on. Do you

    still believe that in 2005?

    TB: Yeah, I still

    believe that. We were a whole bunch of individuals who

    had a lot of talent, and we had two years before that

    together when we were predicted to do well and didn’t.

    The year we won state, we had six seniors, and the

    seniors took it upon ourselves to step it up over the

    summer in preparation. We played at the Air Force base

    in Bellevue almost every day to get ready, which means

    we played tough and were getting thrown around. It

    really enabled us to gel and come together as one, and

    taught us to come together and fight through adversity.

    We really stayed together, and I think that’s what made

    it the best team I ever played for, because nobody told

    us to do what we did, we did it on our own.

    HHC: Speaking of

    Nebraska high school basketball, the talent level across

    the state is not near what it once was. Why do you think

    this is, and do you feel this will be a continuing


    TB: I really feel

    that it is down, and that being because of things like

    the And One’s, the Street Jams, etc. I think it takes

    away from the fundamentals and the essence of why you

    love to play basketball. Now, you have more influences

    of money and cars, which were not the personal goals we

    had back then. For us, it was more about getting a

    scholarship and perfecting your craft. You knew that in

    order for you to be the best, you had to really work at

    it and improve on every aspect of your game. I think

    that is lost today.

    HHC: Now, onto your

    times at Nebraska. After a redshirt year in 1991-1992,

    you began your career at Nebraska in 1992-1993, and

    started seventeen games while being named to the Big 8

    All-Freshman team. However, you guys ultimately had a

    disappointing loss in the NCAA tournament, losing to New

    Mexico State.  In retrospect, was the loss to New Mexico

    State the most disappointing moment in your career at

    Nebraska? And, do you agree with the sentiment that you

    guys “choked” in that game?

    TB: Yeah, I agree. I

    guess that is the most disappointing moment because we

    went into that game and basically were stunned. We

    weren’t prepared. When people say its tournament time,

    people turn it up, and we found that out the hard way. I

    remember their point guard had like seventeen assists

    alone, and the whole experience was just really


    As far as whose fault it was that

    we weren’t prepared, I don’t think it was anyone’s

    fault; we just didn’t expect them to come out to the

    level of us. We were a little cocky, coming from the Big

    8, so we thought we had a better conference and a better

    team, and we didn’t take them 100% serious. We felt it

    was a great situation for us to get a game and go to the

    second round.

    HHC: 1993-1994 saw

    Nebraska win its first Big 8 tournament title, before a

    tough NCAA tournament loss to a good Pennsylvania team.

    Instead of focusing on more negative, talk about what it

    was like in Kansas City during that amazing Big 8 run,

    and what you remember about it?

    TB: That run was

    priceless.  I will pick that as one of the top two

    things (with the NIT) that we did. Piatkowski, Chubick,

    Johnson, Chandler, all those people stepped up. It was

    just unbelievable, the attitude that they showed and the

    motivation, the focus, was all there. To be honest,

    until the Big 8 tournament, I never thought Piatkowski

    would be an NBA player. In the Big 8 tournament, he

    blossomed, and he just took it over.

    The best part was that we were

    playing teams in the Big 8 that we had lost to during

    the season and lost too badly, but once we got to the

    tournament and started rolling, it was wonderful. I

    would compare it to the team at Omaha South in 1990 – we

    all came as one. It wasn’t about who was scoring or

    doing what, it was whoever was ready to play. Everyone

    did their part. That tournament WAS Nebraska basketball

    – it was all one.

    HHC: The 1994-1995

    team made the second round of the NIT tournament and won

    eighteen games, but it’s your senior season in 1995-1996

    that people really remember. Before we talk about the

    NIT championship, tell us what happened with the player

    walkout as best as you can. What do you remember about


    TB: I remember we had

    been ranked eighteenth, and then lost like nine

    straight.  We felt there were players playing their

    butts off and that we weren’t getting a chance to play.

    Further, we felt that Danny wasn’t listening to the

    coaching staff and us as players. 

    In retrospect, I guess the biggest

    thing with the walkout was that … Well, there’s certain

    things you experience, and Coach Nee’s credibility was

    kind of taken away after that. As young men, you don’t

    know exactly what you’re doing…I don’t know if the rest

    of my teammates regret the walkout, but as a person and

    a man, I know how much a reputation means to someone,

    and I would never want to tarnish someone’s reputation.

    Coach Nee did a lot of things that a lot of people don’t

    know about – he always taught us professionalism before

    basketball. He always taught us to be successful – we

    took etiquette classes for almost six months our

    freshman year – how to sit at a table, how to talk to

    women…He gave us planners, backpacks, etc.

    Even after the walkout, he was

    upset at us but apologized – that’s when you know you

    have a good leader and coach.

    HHC: Now, what about

    the NIT Championship. Talk about what it meant to bond

    together as a team and make an improbable run after

    overcoming the walkout. Is this more gratifying than the

    Big 8 run?

    TB: Yes, I would say

    so… I can remember Tyronn Lue stepping up and saying,

    “Lets do it for you guys.” It was wonderful. Actually, I

    think that the key moment of the whole NIT run was when

    we first got to New York and went to a dinner. Check

    this out, this is how savvy coach Nee was. We went in

    sweat suites to this fancy dinner in New York City while

    all the other teams were dressed up for the nice ball.

    Everyone looked at us like, “Who in the hell are they?”

    We sat down, had a couple of bites, and got up and left.

    We left on the bus and we were laughing hysterically

    Coach Nee’s savvyness set the tone

    before the tournament began. He basically said to us,

    “Guys, we have worked hard to get here, now we are here,

    and we are going to win the whole thing.” I think that

    was one of the key parts of the run because it separated

    us – we went through a lot that year and we decided

    that, “You know, we’re different. We weren’t predicted

    to do this, so let’s continue this.” We fought and

    lifted the expectations of Nebraska basketball. We all

    played our part of the team. Everyone shined from the

    freshman to seniors, even Andy Markowski, Chad Ideus,

    Leif Nelson, and Jason Glock. That’s what made it so


    HHC: That was a

    classic Danny Nee story, but we must ask you for

    another. Give us another classic moment. 

    TB: (laughs) Alright,

    how about this… Recruiting visit, I was paired to hang

    out with Tony Farmer, who had a BMW Convertible and was

    just hilarious. Farmer comes to get me from the hotel to

    take me to practice, with snow on the ground and cold

    temperatures. He has the convertible open, music

    blaring, and we pull up to the gym… Nee looks and says

    the most classic thing ever.

    “What in the hell are you doing

    Tony? This is a recruit! You’ve got to be the dumbest

    banana in the bunch. I count on you to show him class

    and professionalism and your driving around with your

    top down on the convertible in the snow. I’m so sorry

    Terrance, for putting you with him, please forgive him.”

    (laughs) “Dumbest banana in the bunch.” I still laugh to

    this day about that.

    The thing about coach Nee was, he

    always had little classic words and names for each

    player, from Wald to Strickland to me. I want to say

    something else about Danny real quick.

    One thing he did a great job in was

    that he was an okay coach, but he was a wonderful

    friend. He was there for you and so supportive. I

    remember I had surgery to have a screw put in my foot,

    and I stayed at his house and I saw what kind of man he

    was. He was wonderful off the court, just excellent. I

    remember when my grandfather passed, he did his best to

    open his arms to my family.

    When I think about the walk out, it

    stings me and is what I regret. I got caught up in the

    moment and didn’t take time to think of what he did for

    me. He made my Mom two promises when he recruited me –

    that I would play for Nebraska and get my degree. I did.

    He kept his promise on both things. One thing I have

    learned in life is that a man is only as good as his

    word, and that was his.

    HHC: And what about

    today? Where is Terrance Badgett at, and how did he get


    TB:  I was fortunate

    in that I got to play professional basketball for four

    and a half years after college. I played in Taiwan,

    Ireland, Oshkosh Wisconsin of the IBL, Sioux Falls, San

    Diego of the ABA, Frankfurt Germany, Kansas City of the

    ABA, and my last tour was the best of all; I played in

    the Phillipines and did great over there, leading the

    league in scoring.

    During those four and a half years

    that I played, I lived in Sacramento, before coming back

    to Nebraska in 2002. Since then, I have been working for

    the Omaha Home for Boys. I started off as a case manager

    and got promoted to a consultant about seven months

    later. I’m about to earn my masters degree, which I

    never thought I’d do, and I’ll graduate in December of

    this year.  It’s been wonderful, the tools I’ve learned

    and I just continue to grow. You can never stop

    learning. I’m still not married, no kids or anything,

    but I’m preparing myself. (laughs)

    HHC: (laughs) Well

    good, maybe we can play matchmaker. We’re going to set

    up an e-mail account for you at

    [email protected] so you can

    communicate with our readers. Maybe someone can set you


    TB: I’ll absolutely

    take e-mails – I love the fans and people of Nebraska.

    I’ve never had a chance to thank them all, and I want

    to. I don’t feel my teachers, coaches, and fans know

    what they did for me in my life. I just want to say

    thanks for all the great years, and for all the great

    people I have been able to relate and talk to through

    autographs and such. I hope everyone knows how much they

    have meant to me.<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

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