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.