Editor’s Note: This is part of a weekly series looking back at past Texas athletes and where they are now. This week features former men’s basketball shooting guard Terrence Rencher, who played for Texas from 1991-1995.
Since he was a kid, Terrence Rencher has been checking off the boxes on his to-do list.
Be Mr. New York Basketball: Check.
Play college basketball: Check.
Become Texas’ all-time leading scorer: Check.
Make the NBA: Check.
“I am a big dreamer,” said Rencher, a shooting guard. “I see myself doing things before I get to that point.”
Growing up in the Bronx borough of New York City, Rencher knew more about college basketball than other kids. He knew the programs, the players and the coaches. It wasn’t until he was in 11th grade, after seeing the “Runnin’ Horns” beat DePaul on national television, that Rencher began to consider Texas.
“I enjoyed watching them play,” Rencher said. “The guards were having fun and had free reign to make plays.”
So, when it came time to be recruited, Rencher reached out to then-Texas head coach Tom Penders, and, before he knew it, he was playing in Austin. After starting all four years at Texas, he quietly became Texas’ all-time leading scorer with 2,306 points and 440 assists.
“The NBA was just another step in my progression,” Rencher said. “I didn’t think of it as a big deal or a one-in-a-billion situation. I just felt I’d have that opportunity at some point.”
He was taken 32nd overall by the Washington Bullets before a draft-day trade sent
him to Miami. Then, midway through his rookie season, he was dealt to the Suns, where his NBA career came to a halt. His rookie season saw him playing just 11 minutes a game and scoring fewer than 3 points a contest. So, with that, his overseas journey began. He played in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Israel and Greece.
“In a way, it was a step back because it wasn’t the NBA,” Rencher said. “At the same time, my NBA experience wasn’t a whole lot of playing time. I was excited about going to Europe and being a contributor.”
Rencher quickly learned the atmosphere was different abroad than in the states — especially when you’re the star.
When he hit a game-winner in a KK Split Euroleague Playoff game, the Croatian fans began to toss his wife up and down in the stands to celebrate.
“We stopped going out after that because we kept being recognized,” Rencher said.
By 2007, at age 34, the Longhorn legend, who had claimed MVP honors in Italy and Germany, began to feel the wear and tear of a lifetime of basketball. He knew he had a few more years left in the tank, but he was itching to rejoin his wife and daughter, who had moved back to the United States.
“I was alone without my family,” Rencher said.
The next chapter of Rencher’s life started with finishing his degree.While in Austin, he began his “natural progression” into coaching. He assisted with the Texas team as a student-mentor and was the head coach and basketball program director at the Regents School of Austin.
Then, after graduating, he found himself on the sidelines as a graduate assistant for Rick Majerus at Saint Louis University.
Rencher has since bounced around, going from Tulsa to Texas State to Sam Houston State and then back to San Marcos as an assistant coach, where he is today.
But there’s still some more check boxes left unmarked.
While the next one is to coach in the NCAA tournament, one is bigger than the rest — to be a head coach.
“I don’t think any good coach gets into the business to be an assistant his whole career,” Rencher said. “I want to have the opportunity to run my own program. That’s the big box left unchecked.”