I’ve sat here for quite some time now, trying to figure out how to start this article. Searching for the right way to open a piece intended to highlight an extraordinary career and say ‘thank you.’
How, exactly, are we supposed to talk about what Desmond Bane has meant to TCU?
Maybe the struggle begins with the understanding that a person of Bane’s caliber transcends any specific label. He is a student-athlete, yes. One of the best to ever do it at TCU, yes. All-time winningest basketball player, yes.
Sure, his on-court performances are a good starting point to talk about Bane. There’s the 8-made three-pointer game back in 2018 that helped TCU knock off Baylor. The 34 points he scored in TCU’s final regular season game of 2018-19, to beat Texas in Austin. His 27-point outing earlier this season to knock off Texas Tech.
There’s also the not-so-small fact that he’s the third leading scorer all-time for TCU men’s basketball, with 1,744 points currently to his name. He’s the winningest player in program history.
He’s currently tied with current assistant coach Corey Santee for most made threes in program history (243), and will finish top-5 in program history for 3-point shooting percentage.
He’s second all-time in minutes played for TCU. He’ll finish his career close to, if not in, the top 10 for assists. He’ll be near, if not in, the top-5 all time for steals.
Beyond the big games and the record book, there’s an aura that follows Desmond Bane around on the court. His mere presence forces entire game plans to shift. Opposing head coaches Scott Drew and Chris Beard, along with a host of others, are all very thankful that he won’t be in purple and white next year. When opposing coaches spend their entire postgame media availability talking about how good you are, you’re doing more than just a little bit right.
There’s something magical, too, about Desmond Bane on the fast break. His fluidity and vision, and ability to finish around the rim regardless of who is making contact or how he has contorted his body is unparalleled.
The back story to Bane’s arrival adds to the lore. The fact that TCU was his only D1 basketball offer after a senior season where he averaged 30 points per game is a little wild. That he grew up in the heart of basketball country is fitting, and that he left the midwest for football-drunk Texas adds some comedy to the story.
It’s almost becoming a tradition for TCU’s most impactful basketball players to be little-wanted guys who have the significant burden of being doubted from the very get go. Kyan Anderson and Kenrich Williams also come to mind. All three worked their way into the hearts of TCU fans as they worked their way into the record books.
But to limit Bane to his on-court skills and talents, or where he came from, would be to reduce him to less than the total sum of his being. Desmond Bane is one of the most confident and articulate student-athletes to come through TCU when it comes to media availability. Perhaps the former informs the latter, but Bane is an impressive interview.
He has an innate ability, just like his head coach, to spend good chunks of time thoroughly answering one question. His confidence seems to expand to the guys sitting next to him, too. Just his presence brings a different feel to a space.
And beyond basketball and media availability, Desmond Bane has celebrated the opportunities he’s been given to give back to the community. Back in January both TCU basketball teams hosted a group of Special Olympics basketball players on campus, and Bane spoke at length afterward about the impact of that experience, almost lamenting the fact that they didn’t have more time to do things like that.
It’s clear with Bane that he understands the significance of being a community leader, and that being a basketball player is only a part of his identity, albeit a large part.
TCU hasn’t had a long list of transcendent basketball players throughout its history, but we’ve all been fortunate to have witnessed Desmond Bane’s rise over these past four years.
For all that he’s done, and for all that he will do, he’s a part of the Frog Family. For that, I’m very thankful.
So thanks, Des, for everything.