Recreation coordinator reflects on stellar basketball career

Posted on: January 20, 2012

College of the Mainland coordinator of memberships and community recreation
Michael Richardson works with students, faculty and local residents so they can
enjoy the College’s athletic facilities and programs.
 
“It’s a good place for people to play and have a good time. You can forget about that
 rough work day you had and just enjoy yourself,” said Richardson, 41, who lives in
League City with his wife, COM career counselor Pamela Berry-Richardson, and
their three children.
 
He also coaches the COM Fighting Ducks club basketball team.

Two decades ago, playing against Richardson was anything but enjoyable for
Southwest Conference opponents.

 


 

(PHOTO COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS)

Richardson played guard and forward for the University of Texas basketball team
from 1991-93.
 
He was recruited to Austin by Longhorns coach Tom Penders who went on to coach
the University of Houston from 2004-2010.
 
The 1991-92 Longhorns reached the prestigious NCAA Tournament, which featured
64 of the nation’s top teams. They lost to the University of Iowa in the first round.
“That was amazing,” Richardson said of the Big Dance. “Everything was a big show.
Practices were a show. Everything was amplified by 10. It was a different kind of
energy.”
 
Earlier that season, Richardson and the Longhorns lost a buzzer beater to Shaquille
O’Neal and Louisiana State University.
 
“He was young, athletic, quick,” Richardson said of Shaq. “You wouldn’t believe how
agile he was for his size. Somehow in the zone (defense), he got mixed up on my side
on a couple of occasions.”
 
Richardson led the SWC in scoring as a senior, but the Longhorns struggled to an 11-
17 finish.
 
“We had the talent to do well but things kind of started falling apart,” Richardson
said.
 
Richardson, who earned a master’s degree in organizational management from
University of Phoenix in 2005, played professional basketball from 1994-2002 in
Sweden, France, Lebanon and the Continental Basketball Association.
Richardson reunited with Penders in 2006 at UH where he worked as the assistant
director for the Academic Center for Excellence. His role included tutoring and
mentoring members of the Cougars’ men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Richardson, who became a COM employee last August, enjoys the community
college environment.
 
Prior to playing at UT, Richardson played basketball and studied at Panola College in
Carthage and Western Texas College in Snyder.
 
“I understand what the students are going through because I went through the same
thing,” Richardson said.

 


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