Lee Nailon was a dominant force for the Horned Frogs in the late 90s, averaging nearly 24 points and over nine rebounds per game across two All-Conference an All-American seasons at TCU. Nailon’s 1997-1998 campaign coincided with the last time the Frogs were in the Big Dance prior to 2018’s appearance, and was good enough to get him considered as an early-entry NBA Draft prospect. He returned for his senior campaign, though, earning Honorable Mention All-American honors to go along with another All-Conference selection in the WAC and finding himself a second round pick of the Charlotte Hornets, #43 overall, with his TCU degree in hand.
After eight seasons in the NBA with seven teams, Nailon spent time overseas and in the Big 3 before returning to DFW with his wife to make a career change — coaching and opening a catering company called Dough & Tips. We caught up with Lee to talk career changes, the state of TCU hoops, and banana pudding. Lots of banana pudding.
Frogs O’ War: You starred at TCU the last time that they made the NCAA Tournament; a lot has changed since then. What do you remember from your time in the program, and what is it like watching TCU Basketball now?
Lee Nailon: Coach Tubbs had the atmosphere rocking. He not only got the students to come but also the locals. It’s was always sold out! They took about 3,000 student seats out and now it’s not for the students anymore — it’s definitely for boosters and business supporters that interact with TCU.
FOW: You spent a lot of years in professional basketball after leaving TCU — you’ve literally seen the world! Why did you choose to come back to DFW for this new venture?
LN: Yes, I was blessed to play all over the world. I realized that coaching was something I wanted to pursue, that’s why I came back to Fort Worth. I am still chasing that dream; I have started Team Nailz AAU and am working with unsigned seniors to do training, as well as opening Dough & Tips. The Team Nailz Unsigned Senior team is to help guys that have been overlooked be seen and get a college scholarship. My Nailz Training is to help develop kids to the next level as well as being a mentor to them.
As far as Dough & Tips, my wife loves to cook and has been in the restaurant business. We became disappointed in going out to eat because her food was so much better. We decided to start Dough & Tips catering with the goal of eventually getting a food truck.
I wanted to come back to Fort Worth because they supported me and I could start a coaching career here, but that part has been a bumpy road. Just blessed to have my degree.
FOW: Why did you guys decide to go the food route and how did you learn to/develop a love for cooking?
LN: We grew up in big families with my grandma and our mothers who could cook anything under the sun, and my wife has that talent as well. I have developed the smoking bandit! We love doing this all together and a lot of our recipes come from our family.
FOW: Tell us a little about your business: when people use Dough & Tips for their events, what are they getting?
LN: It’s like eating an amazing home cooked meal that you want to have everyday!
FOW: You also do some individual sales, are there plans to open a restaurant in the future?
LN: We don’t want to open a brick & mortar restaurant but we want to open a food truck. Our concept for the Dough & Tips food truck is a smoker and wood burning pizza oven.
FOW: What has it been like launching a business in the middle of a pandemic? What have you learned/been surprised by?
LN: It’s been pretty smooth for the most part. It’s a blessing to have my wife that has been in the restaurant field around here — so we have some connections, which has helped. People are loving everything; not one person has said that we need to change something. When you cook with love and passion, it speaks through the food!
FOW: How involved are you with TCU Athletics today? Who are some players across different sports that you’ve enjoyed watching?
LN: When I first came down here I was going to practices and games, I was trying to get my foot in the door, coaching-wise. But I haven’t had the opportunity, and I really want to help the program. I want to coach at TCU because the program and the city gave so much to me that I want to give it back!
And they deserve to see sellouts again!
You can check out Dough & Tips on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/636365830293158/) or give them a call at 682-249-6621. There’s still time to get your Fourth of July order in, too!