Former Maryland basketball standout meets Willard, reflects on career, set for first return to Xfinity Center

Kevin Willard did a little bit of recruiting during his radio show on Tuesday night, offering a spot to Nik Caner-Medley. Caner-Medley, the former Terps star who recently retired after a long and successful career overseas, will be the Honorary Captain for the Terps on Dec. 14 for their game against UCLA. He appeared on Willard’s show, meeting the Terps’ new Coach for the first time.

“If you want to slip on the old uniform, you’re, you’re more than welcome on December 14,” Willard said.

“That probably would blow my knee back out. And so I’ll stay behind the scenes,” Caner-Medley said.

The former Terps forward, who ranks 16th in scoring and 20th in rebounding in the program’s history, played in Germany, Spain, Israel, Kazakhstan, France and Japan, topping more than $7 million in career earnings and has started multiple businesses stateside. They now live in South Florida.

“Time flies. As you just mentioned, I just Retired in May after a long career overseas. You know, I was a freshman 20 years ago, which is pretty mind-blowing. You know how fast time actually goes. I mean, my Memories of my time at Maryland are incredible. The people, the experience, and it was a real tailwind for me, throughout my career all the things that I learned there and my experience there,” said Caner-Medley, who landed on InsideMDSports’ recent ranking of the top Terps of the 2000s.

“When I look back at Maryland, one of the biggest things I remember is the people and the leaders and the influences from Coach [Gary Williams] all the way through the staff. Troy [Wainwright]Jimmy [Patsos]Coach [Dave] Dickerson, people around the organization like Johnny [Holiday], who set an example of character and class and how to carry yourself as a professional and those things. For me, I didn’t realize at that time, how much those people influenced me as a young man and how much that prepared me as a pro,” he said.

Holiday asked Caner-Medley about Williams’ trip to Maine to recruit Caner-Medley as a high schooler.

“It was cold. It was Portland, Maine. And I think it was the wintertime. And we brought Jimmy and Gary to, like, a lobster shack on the water. And it was like rainy and cold. And, you know, knowing Gary the way I do now. I’m sure he was [saying] ‘MF’ and everything in his head. But at the end of the day, I mean, they were great. They certainly acted like they loved it up there. But I heard in some huddles and some practices down the line how people really felt about Maine,” he said.

“Being recruited by Coach Williams, Jimmy Patsos, Dave Dickerson, it was really the relationships that I built with them. And then coming down to College Park, my mom’s a high school guidance counselor. And she got she told me, you know, you’re gonna walk onto a campus and it’s going to feel like home and you’re going to leave, and you’re going to want to go back and feel like you miss it immediately . And that was, you know, a meeting Steve Blake and Drew Nicholas and Tahj Holden and Calvin McCall and some of these leaders that were going to be seniors, it was just a no-brainer for me. I mean, the people that the way that I was treated by the players even being a senior in high school, the way they embraced me, it was just a really, really easy choice,” he said.

“And I was looking at Kansas and UConn and a couple of other pretty big schools, but the decision for me was really easy. For all the reasons that I love the area, the people there and the fans, the tradition in the program. You know, coming from Maine, it was relatively close to home. And so I just felt at home and it was a pretty easy decision.”

Who was his favorite player to team with?

“That’s a great question. And probably, you know, the thing that I value the most of my career from the playing side is some of those relationships. I was very, very fortunate to play as a freshman with a point guard like Steve Blake, you know, he’s the type of point guard where you don’t even know you’re open,” he said. “And he knows you’re open, and he hits you in stride. He was an incredible player, leader. And the way that he’s been as a leader, and a mentor for me, has been something that has been a big, big part of my career. And then I had the opportunity to play with Omar Cook. I’m sure you’re familiar with the name and New York City legend point guard. I played with him for two years in Madrid.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button