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Saying Goodbye to Tai Webster

Tai Webster is graduating from Nebraska. He’s leaving behind a legacy.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3,296.

That’s the number of minutes Tai Webster has spent on the basketball court wearing red and white for the Huskers in his four year career. If you want to talk about it in hours, it equals just under 55, which is under two and a half days. 3,296 minutes dedicated to basketball games.

But, what that number doesn’t tell you is the number of minutes he spent preparing for the 3,296 minutes he played. The hours in the gym for practice, the workouts, the film sessions, the summer practices, the team trip to Spain, his time in the gym shooting the ball, and his time on the New Zealand National Team.

The record of his team during his senior season is not indicative of the player he was on the court every night. Tai Webster single-handedly put his team on his shoulders for much of the season. The ball was always in his hand. He averaged 34.7 minutes per game this season, the most of any player on the roster.

Tai Webster played his heart out every game. He grew each year as he waited for his time to shine behind Shavon Shields and Terran Pettaway. This past season, he left it all on the court. He took 14 shots per game, the most of any Nebraska player on the roster. He spent the off-season playing for the New Zealand National team improving his game. While he was playing, he found that his partner in the backcourt, Andrew White, would be departing for his redshirt senior season. Did Webster let that affect him?

No, not one bit.

He took on more minutes, played harder, and helped lead the Cornhuskers to a 2-0 start to conference play. Nebraska beat Indiana and Maryland on the road. They’d go on to upset Purdue as well. Nebraska beat 2 NCAA Tournament teams this season and Tai Webster was the backbone behind both of those wins.

Tim Miles had a special player in Tai Webster. He knew that all along. He knew if Webster developed, he’d be recognized as one of the best and well-respected guards in the Big Ten. This season, that’s exactly what happened.

It’s often said that a head coach has done his job when he is no longer the face of the the team’s name, and instead the players are.

Tai Webster is Nebraska Basketball.

Years from now, people will look back on these four years at Nebraska. They’ll see the NCAA Tournament from Webster’s freshman year. They’ll see a list of players on the rosters, and come across #0. They’ll see Tai Webster’s name next to it, and they’ll remember. They’ll see the Spain trip, they’ll see the jump he took each year. They’ll see the name of a player who took Shavon Shields’ shoes and filled them in the best way he knew how.

Tai Webster was Nebraska Basketball -the face of the program and the leading scorer in his senior season.

Tai Webster was and will always be Nebraska Basketball.