Bradshaw forgoes career in Europe, will work for UT booster

Former Tennessee men's basketball player Dane Bradshaw is ready to turn his focus from making big baskets into making big bucks.

Bradshaw told the News Sentinel on Monday that he has taken a position with prominent Vols' booster John "Thunder" Thornton and will not return to Europe to play professional basketball.

"I was fortunate to play for and learn under Coach (Bruce) Pearl, one of the best in the basketball business,'' Bradshaw said. "Now I'm going to have the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business world in John Thornton.''

Thornton, a former UT Board of Trustees member, was listed as the 10th "most powerful booster" in the nation by ESPN.com in 2006.

Bradshaw, who once said he treated his career at UT like "a four-year job interview," said details of his business venture with Thornton will be announced in the near future.

"What the University of Tennessee has provided me is amazing,'' said Bradshaw, who has a bachelor's degree in communications/broadcasting and a master's in sport management. "I got a great education while living out my childhood dream on the basketball court, and I gained great relationships, including my future wife, and now I have great employment that will allow me to make my life here.''

Bradshaw is engaged to Julia Taylor, a Knoxville Catholic High School graduate who recently completed her degree at UT.

"Any woman that could love me through my sophomore year playing basketball at UT must really love me for me,'' joked Bradshaw, who didn't become a fan favorite until Pearl arrived prior to his junior season.

Bradshaw, who also authored the book "Vertical Leap,'' said he'll play basketball for the fledgling Knoxville Thunderbolts pro team when his business schedule allows.

"The team already has (former Vols) Jordan Howell and Damon Johnson, along with Dwayne Day, who played at South Carolina,'' Bradshaw said. "I know a lot of these kinds of teams come around and fail, but I can tell you these guys are real impressive, and they are doing things right.''

Bradshaw said the team will hold its first practice Oct. 6.

"I originally thought I was going back to Europe to play for a couple of more years, I had a few offers,'' said Bradshaw, who played for the Den Helder Seals in Holland last season. "But now I have this attractive offer with Mr. Thornton and the new company he is starting, and I'm excited about the opportunity to stay in Knoxville.''

Practice Notes: Freshman forward Emmanuel Negedu was forced to sit out some drills in Monday's one-hour workout because of a sore lower back. . . . Junior wing Josh Tabb played despite having his left thumb and wrist heavily wrapped. . . . Senior forward Ryan Childress continues to sit out with a knee injury suffered in May and indicated there is no timetable for his return.

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Comments » 20

BSweet writes:

Good luck Dane! Thank you for the passion and heart you played with while at UT.

OrangeRush writes:

Dane, you'll be a success in the business world as long as you approach it with the same passion as you did in your basketball endeavors. Thanks for the memories and GO VOLS!

TK writes:

I would say "good luck" to just about anybody else. Dane...you don't need luck. You will do great at anything you do young man! I would love for you someday to do some comentary work with Bert. Or replace him when he no longer wants the job.

BobbyGraham writes:

i hope he doesn't need him to hit a free throw.

Waldorf writes:

And I just lost some respect for Bradshaw..........

CoverOrange writes:

I bet his future wife had more to do with his decision to stay in Kville than Thornton's offer. Not that it is any of our bidness.

johnlg00 writes:

Pretty low blow, DS. When did Dane ever miss a free throw that cost us a game? If you can think of one, I can name several times he saved games for us.
GDGFP, what is there in that article that would cause you to lose respect for Dane? Are you a part owner of the Den Helder Seals and thought you had a contract with him? If not, I don't get where you are coming from on this.

johnlg00 writes:

Surely hope Negedu doesn't have a lingering problem with his back. He could be a difference-maker for us if he is fully healthy. I would be surprised if Childress ever again steps on the floor as a Vol. Too bad about the injuries; for a while there I thought he might turn into a real player.

golfballs03 writes:

His business reputation just took a hit with that endorsement of the Knoxville Thunderbolts.

johnlg00 writes:

golfballs, a league like that is just a hobby for a guy with all of Thornton's business interests and resources. He probably wouldn't even notice, financially, if the league folded right out of the chute or even after a couple of years on life-support. Bradshaw seems smart and personable enough to find a niche somewhere in Thornton's various enterprises. I'm just glad to have him back in K'ville.

Waldorf writes:

I just hope this doesn't mean he will start controlling the bball team the way he does football.

b_neas writes:

Good luck Dane, with the character and people skills you have anything you do in life you will be successful at!! You are an inspiration to more than you could imagine!!

ramblingamblin writes:

Please go back to Europe, or anywhere,, no one cares about bradshaw.. take your thunder thornton money leave and shut up

ncvol writes:

Dane, congrats and best of luck. Sure enjoyed watching you play for UT. Europe's lost...Knoxville's gain....
Go Vols!

WVVOLFAN writes:

ramblin', take your own advise.

doctorvol#211700 writes:

ramblin'--ramble on out of here. You are a knucklehead. Go Dane!

Colliervol writes:

Get it while you can Dane. If you don't take care of #1, ain't nobody going to do it for you.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to country410:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure how much schooling you had, but you surely don't know many school teachers. My wife, for example, works more nearly 10 months out of the year than eight, works a 9-hour day at school and then another hour or two at home nearly every night. During her summer "vacation" she takes extra courses to keep her certification or to advance her credentials. People who haven't done it have absolutely no idea how hard most teachers work, how much responsibility they have, or how little support they get. Most people in fact couldn't do their jobs for a day before they either quit in tears or threw some kid through a window. BTW, fine job all you "capitalists" have done with our real-estate and credit markets. I don't usually post on politics on this site, but you pushed a couple of my main buttons.

THE_VOL writes:

As usual Mike Griffith is only about a month behind the times. Yawnnnnnn....

Now Dane...go tell your boss to PLEASE GET RID OF THE FOOTBALL COACH!!!!

TinaTennesseeVol writes:

in response to country410:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I take offense to your comment Country410. Obviously you don't spend any length of time with an educator. I bet you don't know that WE get up at 5:30 AM, get ready for school, get our own kids ready, prepare lesson plans, teach those lessons, grade papers, attend meetings, discipline children, teach "life skills", counsel them, conference with their parents, help our own children with their schoolwork, take them to after school activities, make dinner, do chores, then go to bed and get up in the morning to do it again. Oh, and by the way, our summers are spent becoming even BETTER educators! I am assuming you can read Country410-thank a TEACHER for teaching you that skill. I wish that someone would have taught you respect.

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