2023 Final Four: ABC13 talks with TJ Ford, member of the 2003 Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team and native of Houston

Sunday, March 26, 2023 8:35 PM

Legend has it that a UT Final Four appearance would end a 20-year search

Houston, Texas (KTRK) – With Sunday’s victory over Miami in the Elite Eight, the University of Texas men’s basketball program will advance to its first Final Four since 2003. Star of the 2003 team? Houston TJ Ford.

Ford, a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for what he did at Willowridge High School and Texas, is in Kansas City to watch his former program attempt to advance to the Final Four two decades after he did so.

“It was such a pleasure to finish something I started 20 years ago when I committed to the University of Texas,” Ford explained during a one-on-one interview with ABC13. “I remain committed to this goal of influencing children and also being able to be a voice and always be a presence for what we are trying to build.”

Texas has only appeared in three Finals appearances in its history: 1943, 1947, and 2003.

Related: March Madness: Texas is moving forward, but a& M takes a beating and eliminates the possibility of renewed rivalry

“It would be great,” Ford said of the prospect of Texas advancing to the 2023 World Cup. “All the things we’ve been through, not just this season, but the last 10 years. To be able to get back to that level with the chance to play at Texas. In Houston.”

While playing for Texas from 2001-2003, Ford was coached by his then assistant Rodney Terry.

Terry, a native of Angleton, is currently the acting head coach of the Longhorns.

“Of course,” Ford said without hesitation when asked if Terry’s performance this season since Chris Bird’s firing had earned him a full-time job.

RELATED: Domestic Violence Case Chris Byrd Filed To Be Dismissed, But Former UT Longhorns Coach Is Without A Job

“It’s not about the contract or the money. He’s proven to show it. He’ll take care of himself, and he’s taking care of himself now,” he said.

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