Possibility of UT advancing to Final Four would continue a 2-decade journey, Longhorns legend says

Adam Winkler Image
Sunday, March 26, 2023
A UT Final Four appearance would finish 20-year quest, legend says
The last time the Longhorns were on college basketball's biggest stage was 2003 with Houstonian TJ Ford, who says if the team advances this year, it will finish what he started in 2003.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With a win Sunday vs. Miami in the Elite Eight, the University of Texas men's basketball program will advance to its first Final Four since 2003. The star of that 2003 squad? Houstonian TJ Ford.

Ford, who is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for what he did at Willowridge High School and Texas, is in Kansas City to watch his former program try to advance to the Final Four two decades after he did so.

"It's been a joy to me to finish something I started 20-something years ago when I committed to the University of Texas," Ford explained during a 1-on-1 interview with ABC13. "I'm still committed to that goal of impacting kids and also being able to be a voice and be a presence of what we're trying to always build."

Texas has been to just three Final Fours in its history: 1943, 1947, and 2003.

RELATED: March Madness: Texas advances, but A&M gets battered and ruins potential rivalry renewal

"It would be great," Ford said of the possibility of Texas advancing to the 2023 Final Four. "All the things we've been through, not just this season, but these past 10 years. Being able to get back to this level with the opportunity to play in the state of Texas. In Houston."

While playing at Texas from 2001-2003, Ford was coached by then-assistant Rodney Terry.

Terry, an Angleton native, is currently the acting head coach of the Longhorns.

"Of course," Ford said without hesitation when asked if Terry's performance this season since Chris Beard's dismissal has earned him the full-time job.

RELATED: Chris Beard's domestic violence case to be dismissed, but former UT Longhorns coach is without a job

"It's not about the contract or the money. He's proven to showcase that. It's going to take care of itself, and it's taking care of itself now, " he said.

For more sports news, follow Adam Winkler on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.