TCU Athletics is littered with big name players across a ton of sports right now, but it’s a player who was relatively unknown coming out of a small high school in Indiana that has become the face of the department as the 2019-2020 athletics season kicks off in earnest this week.
Sure, volleyball players like élan McCall and Katie Clark are in the national team pipeline and cleaning up the preseason honors. And sure, TCU Football has multiple potential first-round draft picks in Lucas Niang, Jalen Reagor, and Ross Blacklock. Never mind the litany of pro prospects on the baseball diamond, champions in track and field/equestrian/rifle... you get the idea.
But the new face of TCU Athletics, following in the mold of guys like LaDainian Tomlinson, Andy Dalton, Josh Doctson, Kenrich Williams, Luken Baker, etc, might very well be Desmond Bane. I mean, just look at him, front and center, welcoming the TCU Class of 2023 to campus:
We are officially BACK‼️ Wrapped up the first day of classes with our annual “Back to School BBQ.” Safe to say we are all fired up for this year❗️#GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/sCkpSlZwgO— Jeremiah Donati (@JDonati_TCU) August 27, 2019
... also, can we talk about how the freshmen got HEIM BBQ?! Why did we not get Heim BBQ?
Bane also took the mic to greet incoming TCU student-athletes, and expressed pride in his university and his adopted city. And he was a real natural at it:
Welcome back #FrogFam. #GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/pBeSIER08q— Desmond Bane (@DBane0625) August 27, 2019
Des indeed may be the student-athlete face of TCU, and that’s a great thing for the Horned Frogs. The 6’6” guard out of Richmond, Indiana came to Fort Worth as a lightly recruited unknown and quickly developed into a legit NBA prospect. He’s played in 109 games in his career, averaging 11.5 point per game - including a career-best 15.2 last season - and 4.2 rebounds per contest. All while shooting over 50% from the field and over 40% from three.
He’s also been an incredible leader in the locker room and a wonderful human off the court, is on track for his degree, and a likely NBA Draft pick next summer. He returned for his senior season because, as he said, “I just want to be the best leader I can be and really come out and win games. I’ve had a lot of individual accolades but I’m not satisfied with any of that. I want a championship.”
Bane works his tail off, meets the media with patience and grace, plays his heart out every night, and almost always has a smile on his face. If Des is the guy that represents Horned Frogs on the playing fields, well, we are in pretty great hands.
Now here’s hoping he goes out and gets that championship.