Taber staying busy following IU career
By Jordan Cohen
Just this week, the former Hoosiers basketball player was working at the third annual adidas “It Takes 5ive Classic” basketball tournament at the University of Cincinnati.
“I know the guy who’s running the tournament (Criss Beyers), and he asked if I wanted to come down and help out and work,” Taber said Monday. “It’s always nice to have a little extra money, so I just decided to do it.”
Taber also spent several days last month working at the Tom Crean Basketball Camps as a counselor.
But with his playing days behind him, Taber is primarily focusing on his studies.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing and management, Taber has been pursuing his master’s degree in athletic administration and sports marketing, he said.
“I might try to get involved with professional basketball,” Taber said. “If not, I can for an athletic department job at any university.”
The Evansville native said he recently finished three classes in the first summer session and is currently enrolled in an online class. He will take two others in the fall to finish.
Though Taber finished his career with just 161 points and 212 rebounds – 2.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game during four years of play – the big man became a fan favorite the last two seasons.
After joining the team as a walk-on in 2004 under then-coach Mike Davis and suffering a knee injury that forced him to redshirt as a freshman, Taber quietly worked his way toward earning a scholarship two seasons later.
Despite enduring a roller coaster of a ride the rest of his career – specifically his last two seasons, with the Kelvin Sampson fallout – Taber continued to work hard and finished his career in March as the only senior on coach Tom Crean’s 6-25 squad.
Even with all the hard practices and conditioning, a wild last two years and all the other highs and lows that come with being a Division I basketball player, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Taber has begun to miss life as an IU basketball player.
“I’m starting to miss it a little bit,” he said. “I mean, it’s different being on your own, and I have the freedom to not have to do certain things at certain times. It’s like a different lifestyle. You’ve got to get used to it.”
But Taber is staying involved with the program, in part because of the aforementioned basketball camps.
“I’ve been around some of the incoming players and my former teammates, and I talk to the coaches,” Taber said. “I’ve seen one of them here today already. I see them once in a while.”
As for this year’s Hoosiers team, Taber is confident things will be much better for Crean and his players, especially with the added depth in the post.
“I think they’ll be pretty good,” he said. “They’ve got some big guys coming in, and not just height-wise, but actually guys who’ve got some weight on them. They won’t be freshmen that will be pushed around. That’s a good thing that we needed inside last year.”