By Randy York
Lincoln attorney Ted Kessner sent a letter to Tim Miles about a month ago, welcoming Nebraska’s first-year head basketball coach and his family to Lincoln. Kessner said they “will come to love Lincoln and all it has to offer.” In the same letter, Kessner recalled the launch of the late Joe Cipriano’s career and how “Cip” also wanted an early-season four-team tournament just like Miles and his staff put together in their inaugural season as Husker coaches.
Kessner remembered Cipriano asking about 20 “program supporters” to become the basis for the Nebraska Rebounders Club that still exists today. Cip wanted those supporters to help organize and host the visiting teams in a four-team tournament in his early days as NU’s head coach. As one of the early supporters, Kessner remembers the tournament as a successful event for two years before Nebraska decided to discontinue the tournament based on scheduling conflicts.
Kessner has fond memories from that tournament, plus a set of “Nebraska Basketball Cuff Links” that were given to supporters as a fitting remembrance of a good idea that worked well. Having always cherished those cuff links and what they represent, Kessner put his two classy cuff links in an envelope and mailed them to Miles with his “Welcome to Lincoln” letter.
Kessner asked Miles to wear the cuff links “as a link to a past new beginning, a beginning which regenerated fan interest and contributed to the move to the Devaney Center.” Kessner sees the cuff links as “a good luck charm” that can help Miles personally commemorate Nebraska’s four games in the 2012 Cipriano Classic and especially Saturday night’s 8 o’clock tipoff against Kent State in Nebraska’s fourth and final game in this “new beginning” of the Tim Miles era.
Miles was as honored receiving the cuff links as Kessner was giving them. And that surprises no one who knows Miles, an appreciative recipient who believes so much in karma that he once ordered a baseball cap with the name Smarty Jones, a long shot horse that upset the field in the Kentucky Derby.
While his first Husker team is a definitive long shot to succeed in 2012 and ’13, at least Miles is now armed with two motivational and competitively symbolic weapons – a cap that honors a thoroughbred that upset the field and a new pair of cuff links that can take him back to a Nebraska future worth emulating and expanding.
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