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00:00:00 - First Interview Introduction 00:00:34 - Griffith's College Decision

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Segment Synopsis: Rashard Griffith (RG) wasn't going to travel too far from home (Chicago) to go to school and play basketball. So, between 3 other Badgers with ties to Chicago and Coach Stu Jackson, he chose UW. Also, he like the challenge of trying to get UW back to the NCAA tournament. Last, UW's atmosphere made him feel at home.

Keywords: College Decision; Recruiting; Stu Jackson

00:02:18 - Learning to Like Basketball

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Segment Synopsis: RG said it started in 6th grade. He wasn't interested in sports, but he was always tall. He tried it and started to get better. Between then and 9th grade, he enrolled in a summer camp, grew several inches, and appeared in the Chicago Sun Times. Soon after that, his grammar school coach (Perry) told him that his life would change after that, and it did.

Keywords: Basketball; Childhood; Summer Camp

00:06:23 - Griffith's High School Career

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Segment Synopsis: RG then shifted to talking about his high school career. King High School. Perry was frosh/soph coach at King, so that's where he went. And he started varsity (Coach Cox) as a freshman. He called it an unique experience, but he never had a typical childhood. When asked, RG listed King's starting 5 his freshman year.

Keywords: High School Basketball; Recruiting

00:09:15 - Participation in AAU Basketball

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Segment Synopsis: Griffith participated in AAU during high school. One team represented Chicago, and RG was on that team. RG signed his letter of intent at UW his junior year. He explained why, including the fact that several major college coaches started watching and recruiting him in 8th grade. And he explained how he ended up living in the projects.

Keywords: AAU; College Recruiters

00:12:01 - Griffith's Parents

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Segment Synopsis: RG's parents divorced; RG lived with father in Atlanta in the summers. So, moving in Chicago caused his mother to sacrifice. RG wanted to play for King and not at the other school where he and his mother moved. When asked about mentors, Coach Perry stood out. RG spoke of the difference between Coaches Perry & Cox. RG decided early on to focus on basketball, because he knew that could get him and his family a better life.

Keywords: Atlanta, GA; Divorce; Parents

00:15:10 - The Recruiting Process

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Partial Transcript: Talk about maybe the next step, and coming to school here...

Segment Synopsis: RG talked about coming to UW his senior year, attending both a football and basketball game here. Recruitment process was tiring for both him and his mother. She mainly left it up to him; her only request was not to go to University of Illinois. He said all the recruitment letters filled garbage bags. HIs family wanted to come to the games, so that limited him to near(ish) to Chicago. So, it ended up being down to Purdue, OSU, and UW.

Keywords: College Decision; Football

00:19:11 - Griffith's "Official Visits" to Madison

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Segment Synopsis: RG explained the difference between official and unofficial visits. When asked about the summer after senior year, RG came here and attended SOAR. He transitioned easily from high school to college; he explained why: his camp experience prepared him well. RG spoke about the difference between Chicago and Madison. He explained why he has become a home-body. When asked where he lived while here, he said it was the Regent

Keywords: Athletic Recruiting

00:23:27 - College vs. High school classes

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Segment Synopsis: Workload was different, but the big difference was the time. College students have far more time on their hands; it's all about time management. Athletics gave him an unique advantage; he explained why: bother in terms of structure and family atmosphere.

Keywords: Academics; College life

00:25:46 - Griffith's First Teammates

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Segment Synopsis: Besides Webster, Finley, and Moore, RG listed others. He talked here, too, about trying to get UW back to the NCAA tournament. It had been 47 years. He started weight training in the summer; it was the first time he had lifted weights. Once he adjusted to it, he became stronger.

Keywords: Men's Basketball; Michael Finley

00:28:05 - Big Ten Competition

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Segment Synopsis: Indiana, Michigan, and Purdue. RG listed the best players at each of those schools. When asked the difference between high school and college basketball, he said the physical strength was the big difference. That helped him prepare, strength-wise, for his sophomore years. When asked about his freshman year, he said once he finished that first game--and scored 27 points--he felt comfortable.

Keywords: Indiana Hoosiers; Michigan Wolverine

00:30:47 - Making the NCAA Tournament & Griffith's Freshman Season

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Segment Synopsis: RG said it was good enough to get into the NCAA tournament. He offered a quick overview of the two tournament games. When asked about the day they got into the tournament, RG offered his memories of that. He remembered getting in cars and driving around campus and the city. RG talked about some other athletes he played against his freshman year.

Keywords: Cincinnati Bearcats; NCAA Tournament

00:32:46 - Changes in the Game

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Segment Synopsis: RG understood that change happens, but it has not made the game better. It has made comparisons of different athletes from different era problematic. He felt that freedom of movement has caused more injuries, not less. RG's professional time in Europe compared to today's college game.

Keywords: Game-play; Injuries; Physicality

00:35:38 - Playing in Europe

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Segment Synopsis: RG continued his discussion about playing professionally in Europe. He then returned to discussing today's college game; if you practice physical you can compete with physical teams.

Keywords: European Basketball

00:37:32 - Summer between Freshman and Sophmore years?

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Segment Synopsis: Griffith spent the summer preparing for his sophomore basketball season. His coach changed, so he talked about asking the new coach, Stan Van Gundy, what he needed to do to get better. He increased his number, but the team did not succeed as well. When asked about summer training, he said he trained on his own but with the goals given to him by the coaching staff in mind. He then talked about the difference between athletes' summers now and then.

Keywords: Game Statistics; Stan Van Gundy

00:41:32 - Griffith's Sophomore Season

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Partial Transcript: So you came back second year sophomore..

Segment Synopsis: RG talked about who graduated and who joined the team that season. RG and Michael Finley were the two top players. When asked whey they did not make the NCAA and NIT tournaments, RG said that the loss of Tracy Webster hurt the team.

Keywords: Michael Finley; Tracy Webster

00:43:37 - Importance of a Point Guard

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Partial Transcript: In general does your leader have to be your point guard?

Segment Synopsis: RG said that the point guard usually will end being an extension of the coach and why the point guard has the toughest job on the floor. He offered an example of a great point guard (David Rivers) that RG played with for a couple of seasons in Turkey. RG talked more about his time playing professionally in Europe, including being a "point-center" during his time in Italy.

Keywords: Basketball positions; Point Guard

00:48:31 - Differences between Stu Jackson and Stan Van Gundy

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Segment Synopsis: Stu Jackson changed the game at UW; RG explained why: Jackson demanded a lot of the UW to build up the program. Van Gundy came into a difficult situation, trying to replace Jackson. RG said that if they did not let Van Gundy go, RG thought he would have stayed one more year. He then talked about the last basketball season (2017-18), where the team did not make the NCAA tournament.

Keywords: Coaching; Stan Van Gundy; Stu Jackson

00:52:12 - Second Interview Introduction 00:52:31 - Playing games in the Field House

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Segment Synopsis: Rashard Griffith (RG) called the Field House, "unique." RG played to a sold-out Field House. RG called the fan base, "tremendous." These thoughts led him to talk about UW always being an underdog. RG wished that today's players could play a game there. After a pause, RG continued to talk about the Field House

Keywords: Athletics; Field House

00:55:52 - Memorable Professors and Classes

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to ask first off if there were memorable classes or professors

Segment Synopsis: Craig Werner, his tutor Nancy Gattias, and some of his current teachers, because they taught here back then too. He talked more about his current return to campus, including talking classes from Sam Veit who punted for the Badgers in 1994. Also mentions current teachers like Roman history professor Marc Kleijwegt.

Keywords: Craig Werner; Student Athletes

00:57:54 - Student Life, Then and Now

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Segment Synopsis: In the 1990s, he went to class to get good enough grades to pass his classes. Now, he will go to class and share his life experiences with not only his fellow students and current basketball players. He talked specifically about how he will talk and give advice to the current players. He gave a "for example" about a few recently graduated players and the jobs they have earned, talking about how they had goals outside of basketball.

Keywords: Returning Students; Student Athlete

01:01:43 - Support for Student Athletes

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Segment Synopsis: RG said support for athletes starting during his time here in the 1990s. RG gave examples of what Barry Alvarez and Stu Jackson did for athletics here.

Keywords: Barry Alvarez; Stu Jackson

01:02:54 - Building Relationships Outside of Sports

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Segment Synopsis: RG offered an example of one particular relationship with Bill Heebs; BH crafted two scrapbooks for RG; RG's son has them now. RG also discussed a letter that BH wrote for him.

Keywords: Campus life; Mentoring

01:05:08 - Mentoring Student Athletes

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Segment Synopsis: RG furnished his thoughts about how he will ask the students, "What's your B Plan?" Because he did not have one when he first attended here. He offered an example of a women's basketball player and her "B Plan."

Keywords: Careers; Mentoring

01:06:49 - Preparing To Go Pro

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Segment Synopsis: RG first talked to the incoming UW coach, then to his mother and father. RG knew he was going pro, so he hired an agent. After that, he worked out every day, multiple times a day. He lifted weights, did aerobics and ballet, and played basketball. When asked who else helped him get ready for the pros, he listed several of them, including family.

Keywords: Conditioning; Sports Agents

01:09:32 - Griffith's Inner-Circle

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Segment Synopsis: RG said that being known from an early age allowed him to keep people around him who told him the truth. He also talked about keeping a close circle of friends and family.

Keywords: Family; Relationships

01:11:39 - Deciding to Play in Europe

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Segment Synopsis: RG was drafted by the Bucks in the 2nd round. The coach proposed to him that he played overseas for a year or two. He learned the politics of the game and explained what that meant. RG talked about another Bucks draft pick, Glenn Robinson, and why he and GR knew each other quite well. So, the Bucks gave him contracts for teams in several European countries and the Bucks. So, RG chose a contract with a team in Turkey, because it gave him the most money. RG told the story about what happened after he signed the contract, particularly how his father and uncle showed him "Midnight Express," and how that made RG bring his mother, father, and uncle to Turkey.

Keywords: European Basketball; Glenn Robinson

01:14:43 - Traveling Europe

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Segment Synopsis: RG talked about his first few days in Turkey, including thoughts about eating only processed food and how that changed after living and playing in Europe. RG mentioned "God's plan," giving an example about how playing in Turkey has led him to mentor and train young basketball players. He won championships in Turkey and every other country he played in, except Spain.

Keywords: European Basketball; Turkey

01:19:55 - Reflections on Time Overseas

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Segment Synopsis: RG offer anecdotes about being in Israel during Desert Storm and about having Israel's police give him an update about what to do if Iraq bombed Jerusalem and about being in Turkey during a major earthquake. He enjoyed his time overseas so much that he would live there again without reservations. At first he called people and ran up huge monthly phone bills. He talked about his father and why his father ended up staying with him for RG's first several years in Europe. He also described how his father helped him offering him life lessons, including getting RG to understand why he should curtail his monthly phone charges. Eventually, RG ended up just calling his mom and his agent. RG continued to discuss his time in Europe, particularly how he managed his money after his father returned to the States. RG would buy phone cards and only use those to call people.

Keywords: Earthquake; Gulf War; Israel; Money Management

01:27:58 - Making a Career in Europe

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Segment Synopsis: When did RG know that his career would be in Europe, not the NBA? RG talked about when he knew and about getting a contract every year from the Milwaukee Bucks. He could make more money in Europe, which meant more when he had dependents.

Keywords: Contracts; Milwaukee Bucks

01:31:10 - Moving Around and Adjusting to the European Basketball

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Partial Transcript: So, when you played in Turkey... was most of your time in Turkey?

Segment Synopsis: RG lists places he played, staying in Turkey and Romania the most. When asked about the difference between Europe & the NBA (or college), RG offered some of the differences. It took RG some time to adjust to the different rules; when he came home for a break, RG spent extra time with an assistant coach to learn how to play within the rules. After the break he stopped the turnovers and won the MVP award in his league.

Keywords: FIBA; Italy; Romania; Spain; Turkey

01:36:14 - Winning Championships

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Segment Synopsis: RG talked about how he learned from Americans who played in Europe to "show up and show out" during Europe-wide tournaments so other teams knew your worth. He then listed some of the championships he won while in Europe and noted how he ended up with contracts over a $1 million/year.

Keywords: Championships; Playoffs

01:38:10 - Deciding to Retire

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Segment Synopsis: RG ruptured his Achilles tendon, but he rehabbed and tried to come back. But, the grind of it all became too much. He talked more about that, including never taking a vacation. He also noted the difference in travel costs between Europe and the NBA. RG came back to the US to get his Achilles repaired. The rehab and practice made him physically tired. This thought led RG to talk about the game and play that caused his Achilles to rupture.

Keywords: Injuries; Retirement

01:42:45 - Third Interview Introduction 01:43:16 - How Europe Shaped Rashard

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Segment Synopsis: Rashard Griffith (RG) talked about how getting out of Chicago really benefited him, both coming to Madison and playing basketball overseas. He said every place he played, a family "took he and his father in." He explained what he meant, noting that his father really took the lead in meeting people. RG gave a specific example about an Israeli family who invited him to (American) Thanksgiving dinner. After that, RG and his father went to their house for every holiday. He said this happened in Italy & Romania too.

Keywords: Chicago; Europe; Israel; Italy; Romania

01:48:25 - Contrasting America and Europe

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Segment Synopsis: RG would take offense when people told him they would not travel to Europe, because of the danger. RG never felt threatened while there. He saw the difference between the people he met in Europe and people in Chicago who never leave the city. RG continued the discussion about the difference between Europe and the US, specifically about renting and about the family unit.

Keywords: Europe; Israel

01:52:51 - Transitioning out of Playing

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Segment Synopsis: RG reminded the interviewer about how he decided it was time to retire. While he rehabbed, college kids preparing for the NBA Draft started asking him to help them. His trainer told him that RG should go into coaching or training. So, he told the Romanian team that he retired.

Keywords: Injury Rehab; Retirement

01:55:17 - Working as a Trainer

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Segment Synopsis: RG talked about his work as a trainer and about how some parents took advantage of his willingness to make things affordable for their kids to train with him. He gave one specific for example about how what another trainer charged kids and what that person offered. RG compared that trainer's method and background to RG's and his team's method. He gave a for example about working with kids from Turkey.

Keywords: Basketball Training; Youth

02:01:03 - Learning from Pain

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Segment Synopsis: For RG, the difference between working with kids from Turkey and kids in Chicago showed him that he needed to "work on me," including coming back to Madison and getting his degree. So, he worked in Chicago from 2010-2015, teaching them to be both student and athletes. He talked more about training the mind and the body, specifically the importance of doing both and the importance of learning from pain. In regards to pain, RG talked about personal examples both training in karate and ballet. RG talked about his learning how to deal with pain has helped him personally and professionally, particularly how it pertains to working with kids today. He gave an example about getting out of one's comfort zone.

Keywords: Healing; Karate; Mindfulness; Training

02:06:11 - Life Lessons

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Segment Synopsis: RG reflects on the lessons he wants to impart to the kids he works with. He gives an example from his current classwork about the importance of asking for things. RG's life has prepared him for his classwork now and his life after getting his degree from UW. So, his plan has become getting his degree and starting his own non-profit. He has appreciated the learning process, both in class and in life.

Keywords: Generations; Mentoring

02:10:43 - Working with UW Athletics & Final Thoughts

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Segment Synopsis: RG talked about a conversation with a current athlete to think about his life after he played his last game at UW, because for most UW basketball players, their basketball career will end at UW. At UW and in life, he has tried to lead by example, earning what has come to him. RG has seen himself in a mentor role, having conversations with them. And now, officially in his student manager role, he can work with them on the court too. And once he will earn his degree, then Athletics will need to change his role to allow him to continue to help students and staff at Athletics. His final thoughts were about how this oral history has helped focus his time on future publications about his life.

Keywords: Mentoring; UW Athletics