Ute Dub

My most embarrassing Rick Majerus camp story

I was 11-12 years old and sitting on the Huntsman floor with about 200-300 day campers attending the Rick Majerus basketball camp. Jeff Judkins was there but Tommy Conners seemed to be running the bulk of the camp. Rick Majerus was quizzing kids on what they could do to prepare for a game so that you will compete better. My mom had given me an article the day before about visualizing performing well, and that this is what top athletes in the world do to compete at the highest level. My hand shot up, surely this was the answer Big Rick was looking for. Rick turned to me and so did 300 kids…I panicked, my mind went blank and I said, “you can meditate” [LONG QUIETE PAUSE]. Big Rick replied, “you mean like ohms and stuff?” I nodded yes confidently but I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. He began ripping on me for the next 10 minutes and had the whole crowd in an uproar of laughter. “I got Andre Miller over here working on dribbling drills and this kid is sitting cross legged on the scorers table with his wrists pointed upward on top of his knees doing ohms.” My friends began scooting away from me and burying their hands in their faces, so embarrassed that they even knew me. Throughout the next half hour Rick would teach a little and then mix in a meditation joke here and there. Near the end of the session, one of the assistant coaches came over and said to me, “you meant visualize performing well, right?” I said YES! I looked at him with a plea of, “please tell everyone what I meant.” But it was too late. The dye was cast. 

It ended up ok. It was my dad’s birthday the next week and at the end of the camp they gave you a red and white striped rubber basketball with the Utah logo on it. I knew Van Horn was the star and got around to as many players as I could to have the sign Happy Birthday, Greg and add their signature. Although I didn’t know a couple of them, my dad ending getting a signed basketball with each writing Happy Birthday, Greg by Rick Majerus, Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller, and Michael Doleac and that’s it. Still one of his most treasured possessions!

  • UteBrook

    Fantastic story. I have the football signed by Kyle and a handful of others after the Sugarbowl win (small #of players). My kids played with it and now. . .sigh.

  • PlainsUte

    Reminds of the Glenn Rivers story where he shows up at Marquette training camp wearing a “Dr J” jersey so Majerus ribs him about it, calling him “Doc” for the whole camp and into the basketball season.   The name stuck — for decades.

  • GameForAnyFuss

    My neighbor was a high-up in the athletics department for a long time. He told me this about Rick:

    Some of you may remember that Rick – despite his high salary compared to the average person – drove a beat up old white Datsun pickup. Of course, he had a reserved parking spot right outside the HC. But he never used it. Instead, he would park his old Datsun pickup on the sidewalk that runs around the outside of the HC. And he did that every single day. And every single day, the parking police would give Rick a ticket for illegal parking. And all this to save Rick 20 feet of extra walking from his reserved parking spot.

    But here’s the best part: Apparently Rick had a clause in his contract that the athletics department would pay his parking tickets. So periodically Rick would gather up his parking tickets, give them to the AD office, and someone would pay them all.

    I remember having to ride my bike onto the grass many times because Rick’s pickup was blocking the sidewalk. What a legend…

    • Utesbyfive

      So that’s who owned that damn pickup!

    • dystopiamembrane

      This story made me smile. I did not know this one. Thank you.

  • mesovanhorny

    I’ve told this before, but it’s worth telling again.  I was an editor for an educational publisher, and I tried to get Rick to be lead author on a series of books on success & academics speciifclaly for college ahtletes.  I was looking to UA, Reebok, Nike to sponsor a big chunk of the production costs.

    I approached Rick with the idea, and we had a couple of conversations about it.  During one of our discussions, I told Rick how much I admired him.  I loved his coaching approach and he was funny as hell.  He paused and looked at me, and said, “why can’t you be a woman?”  I almost wet my pants.  Dude was a straight up comedian.

    He signed and gave me one of his sweaters from one of his seasons.  He only wore one per season.  It’s hanging up on my wall in my office.

    • Ute Dub

      I think it’s worth requesting you start a new thread and post a picture of RM’s sweater!

  • Utesby1

    I have an interesting story that involves Rick.

    At the time I was the CEO of a local company. I had dealings with the athletic director and to a lesser extent with the president of th U. I was speaking with the AD and he said “you have a lot of employees. What would you do if one of your employees berated the people who worked for them? Every time I suggest that he needs to hire more capable assistants he always says What am I not good enough for you? If that is the case I will accept one of the ten offers I will get at the end of the season.”

    I said that I would determine if the sum of his contributions was greater than the problems he causes. If yes, then I would tiptoe around him and look for small wis. If not I would fire his ass. The AD said that in the past his contributions were very significant but the team had not done much in the past few years, in fact, it seemed that he had quit recruiting. Few days later the coach in question saved him the trouble of making a descion.