Thursday, March 14, 2002

Where are Final Four teammates now?




Corie Blount

        AGE: 33.

        FROM: Monrovia, Calif. RESIDES: Middletown, Ohio.

        FAMILY: Wife, Nicole. Children, Corie Jr., 1; Christopher, 5.

        EMPLOYMENT: Plays for Philadelphia 76ers, his sixth NBA team in nine seasons. First-round draft pick of Chicago Bulls in 1993. Also has played for Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.

        1991-92 SEASON: Started 33 of 34 games, 8.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, team-high 51 blocked shots.

        MEMORY: “When we won the game against Memphis to go to the Final Four, because we had beaten those guys so many times. I just remember the whole transition after that game, from cutting down the nets to getting on the bus and acting crazy with the guys.”

        ON HUGGINS: “Honestly, I think he overprepared me for the NBA. Practices for Huggs and practices for Phil Jackson were two totally opposite things. When I went to practice with the Bulls, they were so easy. I remember asking Scottie (Pippen), is that it? I was coming from three- and four-hour practices.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Has played on teams with Michael Jordan, Pippen and Magic Johnson. Is working with NBA's college graduation plan to finish requirements for his degree. Plans to take classes this summer.

Curtis Bostic

        AGE: 31.

        FROM: Brockton, Mass. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Wife, Lolly. Children, Sara, 16; Jake, 9; Isiah 5; Celia, 3; Blaise 2.

        EMPLOYMENT: Personal trainer.

        1991-92 SEASON: Back injury sidelined him after three games. Practiced two months after having surgery and was awarded medical redshirt.

        MEMORY: “When Dick Vitale came in one game, and he had said that we wouldn't make the (NCAA) Tournament, and A.D. (Jackson) said yes we would and they had a big argument.”

        ON HUGGINS: “If you're holding something back, he can get it out of you and get you to play at your potential and beyond your potential.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Assistant varsity boys basketball coach at Western Hills under former teammate Terry Nelson. Is continuing to take classes at UC toward his degree and hopes to be done by December. Wants to coach in college.

Anthony Buford

        AGE: 33.

        FROM: Flint, Mich. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Wife, Jill. Son, Cameron, 2.

        EMPLOYMENT: Mortgage loan officer, Winton Savings & Loan.

        1991-92 SEASON: Started all 34 games, second in scoring (15.3 ppg), second in 3-point field goals (61) and 3-point percentage (.386), first in free throw percentage (.774).

        MEMORY: “One is when we played Xavier. We started the game out, and I remember hitting a jump shot right in front of Xavier's bench. I just knew they were going to call a timeout because we had jumped out on them pretty good. After it went through, I jumped really high and turned in the air and came down and stomped right in front of Pete Gillen. I'll never forget that feeling and the look on his face. It was great.”

        ON HUGGINS: “If you were to tell me to give it to you in three words, I'd say loyalty, trust and honesty.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Attended '92 Boston Celtics camp as free agent. Spent summer with Celtics, injured right wrist. Played two years in Croatia and one year in Germany. Inducted into Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame last October. TV analyst for UC games since 1996.

Tarrice Gibson

        AGE: 32.

        FROM: Dothan, Ala. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Daughter, Tiara, 8.

        EMPLOYMENT: Promotions and sales, JTM Food Group.

        1991-92 SEASON: Key player off bench, 4.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg.

        MEMORY: “One of my friends gave me his camcorder for the year, so I was able to record the whole season. Corie and Terry helped me do it. I probably had three tapes, and believe it or not, they are scattered everywhere. I've got one that Corie made off the original tapes.”

        ON HUGGINS: “Somebody that's going to be in your corner, regardless. He's been the biggest inspiration for me. If there are a couple guys that are injured and he needs some bodies at practice, I'm there. There's not even a question. Duty calls.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Known by UC fans as Tarrance, Gibson says that's not his name. “It was on my transcript somehow. My guidance counselor filled it out, and he spelled the name wrong. I just never even paid attention to it. It worried my grandma more than it worried me. ... The whole city knows me by the wrong name.”

        Allen Jackson

        AGE: 30.

        FROM: South Bend, Ind. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Wife, Ines. Children, Carlas, 5; Jalyn, 1.

        EMPLOYMENT: Patient service technician, Apria Healthcare.

        1991-92 SEASON: Started 14 of 34 games, then came off the bench, 5.6 ppg, 2.4 apg.

        MEMORY: “The thing that strikes me the most was our camaraderie. We were a team, but also we were like a second family for everybody. We're still real close.”

        ON HUGGINS: “That's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde right there. During the game, he's Mr. Hyde — is that the crazy guy? But after the game, he's Dr. Jekyll, calm, cool and collected. For me, he's just a person to look up to as far as how he carries himself.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Huggins calls Jackson “George.” Why? When Jackson was at UC, some high school students were taking a tour of campus, spotted Jackson in the McDonald's in the student union and asked if he was A.D. Jackson. “I said, "No my name is George,” so I wouldn't get mobbed,” Jackson said laughing. “The name has stuck with me.”

John Jacobs

        AGE: 28.

        FROM: Cincinnati (Withrow High School). RESIDES: Fairfield.

        FAMILY: Single,

        EMPLOYMENT: Car salesman, Performance Honda.

        1991-92 SEASON: Redshirted as freshman — practiced with team, but did not dress for games.

        MEMORY: “The pep rally (at Shoemaker) that we had right before we took off for the Final Four. We got to meet the mayor, Dwight Tillery. I had just turned 18, first year in college, it was larger than life for me.”

        ON HUGGINS: “I grew up without a father figure in my life, and he took on that role. It wasn't all just basketball. It was getting you prepared for life. Responsibility. Dedication. All the different things that come along with being on a team, he was very strict about. He demanded that you gave all of yours; even if you weren't perfect, you were going to give 100 percent trying.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Was never a star at UC, but says never leaving Cincinnati has been “a very rewarding story for me. To this day, people remember me, and I still sign autographs.” Has been e-mailing Erik Martin in South Korea.

Herb Jones

        AGE: 32.

        FROM: Atlanta. RESIDES: Columbus, Ohio.

        FAMILY: Wife, Andrea. Children, Shawyn, 13.

        EMPLOYMENT: Playing basketball in Italy. Has played in Spain, where his team won the championship; the Philippines; Greece; and Argentina.

        1991-92 SEASON: Started all 34 games and led UC in scoring (18.1 ppg), rebounding (7.1 ppg) and dunks (31).

        MEMORY: “Probably that summer when the guys were first coming in, getting to meet everyone and see their abilities on the court and how they were off the court.”

        ON HUGGINS: “He's an intense coach, but if you're doing what you're supposed to do, you'll have no problem.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Two-time junior-college All-American at Butler (Kan.) Community College was considered the first big-time national recruit to sign with the Bearcats under Huggins. His favorite nonbasketball activity is bass fishing. He owns a boat in Columbus and fishes in a club and competitively.

Erik Martin

        AGE: 30.

        FROM: West Covina, Calif. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Single.

        EMPLOYMENT: Playing basketball in South Korea. Has played in CBA (Yakima, Omaha, LaCrosse, Idaho), Spain, China, Japan, Argentina and the Philippines.

        1991-92 SEASON: Came off bench for 34 games, averaging 6.3 ppg and 4.0 rpg and shot .525 from field.

        MEMORY: “We had a 20-point lead and lost to Athletes in Action, and after that, Huggs tore into us. The next day, he gave us the day off, but everyone went in the locker room when it was time to be practicing and we had a team meeting. I think we were in there for two hours. We talked about losing that game, what we need to do. That's when we made our goals, too. I think it was win the Great Midwest, win the tournament, make it to the NCAA and make it to the Sweet 16.”

        ON HUGGINS: “That Huggs back then was a mean son of a (gun). He was mean all the time. Off the court, he's cool. But on the court, if we weren't doing something, it was get on the line (and run). I think he has more patience with guys now.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Wants to be college head coach when his playing days are over.

Terry Nelson

        AGE: 31.

        FROM: Long Beach, Calif. RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Wife, Lori.

        EMPLOYMENT: Science proficiency teacher, varsity boys basketball coach, Western Hills High School.

        1991-92 SEASON: Came off bench for first 14 games before working way into starting lineup. Averaged 3.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg.

        MEMORY: “Probably in the Elite Eight when we were beating Memphis by 30 and guys starting putting four fingers in the air. Nick started it, and it just kind of caught on. That's when we realized we were going to the Final Four. We were looking at each other and just smiling and laughing. There was no dialogue.”

        ON HUGGINS: “Tough. A competitor. He taught me there's no such thing as an off day. People who are great at anything do it every day.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Returned to school in 1996 and earned degree from UC in 1998. Was UC team manager for one year and video coordinator another year. Wants to be college head coach.

Mike Reichenecker

        AGE: 32.

        FROM: Arlington, Texas. RESIDES: Marshall, Texas.

        FAMILY: Wife, Kelly. Children, Hillary 10; Michael Jr., 5; Luke 3.

        EMPLOYMENT: General manager, Sears.

        1991-92 SEASON: Nicknamed “Rock,” totaled 83 minutes, 14 points, 11 rebounds in 22 games. Never scored more than four, but was popular with home crowd.

        MEMORY: “Being on the road for the Final Four. The fans, their support. They were really into it. I liked the fans, I guess, because the fans liked me.”

        ON HUGGINS: “He's a helluva guy. He's a helluva coach.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Earned degree the summer after the Final Four. Played basketball in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Holland. Stopped playing 4 1/2 years ago.

Jeff Scott

        AGE: 33.

        FROM: Cincinnati (Mt. Healthy). RESIDES: West Chester.

        FAMILY: Wife, Jeanette.

        EMPLOYMENT: Sales, Victory Wholesale Grocers.

        1991-92 SEASON: Started early in season before giving way to Nelson. Came off bench for 19 of last 20 games. Averaged 3.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg.

        MEMORY: “The fun and camaraderie. It was just a great time. Everybody got along. There were no issues.”

        ON HUGGINS: “Determination and perfection. He makes you become aggressive in whatever you do. It definitely helped me, especially in sales, going after the sale. It's the same kind of thing, just a different court.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Transferred from Miami after two seasons to UC Santa Barbara, then realized after a few months he wanted to return home. Came back to Cincinnati to enroll at UC, but had no plans to play basketball. Huggins called out of nowhere to see if Scott was interested in joining the Bearcats. Scott became eligible in December 1990. “It's crazy how it worked out, huh?” Scott said.

Nick Van Exel

        AGE: 30.

        FROM: Kenosha, Wis. RESIDES: Houston.

        FAMILY: Son, Nick Jr., 11.

        EMPLOYMENT: Plays for Dallas Mavericks, his third NBA team in nine seasons. Spent five years with Los Angeles Lakers and four with Denver Nuggets. Was traded this season. NBA All-Star in 1998. Second-round draft pick of the Lakers in '93.

        1991-92 SEASON: Took over as starting point guard in 15th game and went on to average 12.3 ppg with team-high 62 3-point field goals and team-high 99 assists.

        MEMORY: “That has to be the closest group of guys I have ever played with. It was a lot more gratifying because it was so much fun.”

        ON HUGGINS: “Crazy. Lunatic. But definitely one of the fiercest competitors. If there's a coach that you want to go to war with, I would definitely take him because he's going to do whatever it takes to win. His practices are tough, you really don't like him on the basketball court, but you respect him 100 times more as a person and as a man off the court. I think that's what everybody likes about him. There were times when each one of us got kicked out of practice, and you may go to his office and he would never mention basketball. You would just have a talk about anything.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Has been paying toward $100,000 scholarship endowment at UC. Last spring, he hosted the second annual Nick Van Exel Charity Weekend in Houston. Proceeds went to the Mayor's Youth Sports Program, which services at-risk children in the area, and the Houston Area Women's Center, which provides shelter, support and services to sexual-assault and family-violence survivors.

B.J. Ward

        AGE: 33.

        FROM: Cincinnati (attended high school in Milwaukee). RESIDES: Cincinnati.

        FAMILY: Single.

        EMPLOYMENT: Senior account executive, W.B. Products & Services, his family's catering business.

        1991-92 SEASON: Total of 27 minutes in 13 games. Had five points, four rebounds.

        MEMORY: “What stands out is the unity of the team. If you notice, when you talked to Jeff (Scott), he had my number. One way or another, out of the 13 guys, we know where everybody's at, still, after 10 years.”

        ON HUGGINS: “The best coach I ever played for. It's not just X's and O's, it's knowing how to get a lot out of a person. When you look at Huggs, you look at the end result.”

        NOTEWORTHY: Earned degree from UC in three years, stayed on to play a fourth year and attend graduate school. Huggins called Ward into his office before the Bearcats left on a summer trip to Greece and talked him into returning. “The rest is history,” Ward said. “Mainly, I had had been through the system, and he knew I could help out a lot of the younger guys.” The versatile Ward often simulated the opponents' best players in practice.

Coaches

        Bob Huggins: In his 13th season with Bearcats, Huggins' UC teams are 331-99 (.770) and have won fewer than 20 games only once (1990-91). The Bearcats are in their 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament. Overall, Huggins is 499-171 (.745) as a head coach.

        Larry Harrison: Just finished his second year as head coach at Hartford. His first team went 4-24, and the Hawks were 14-18 this season, the biggest single-season turnaround in school history. Harrison was previously an assistant at DePaul.

        John Loyer: Video coordinator for the Portland Trail Blazers.

        Chuck Machock: Investment broker for PaineWebber. UC's radio analyst since 1992-93 season.

        Steve Moeller: Left UC coaching staff in fall 1994 to become director of annual giving for athletic department. Retired last spring from position as assistant to the athletic director. Resides in Cincinnati.

       



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