Stepping out of the shadows

Cara Herbert / THE FLARE || KC Ranger point guard Nardie Bogues has big goals, both on the court and in life.
Cara Herbert / THE FLARE || KC Ranger point guard Nardie Bogues has big goals, both on the court and in life.

It is hard to imagine a man who stands 5 feet 3 inches casting a large shadow over you, but when that 5-foot-3 inch man is your uncle who happens to be former NBA star Muggsy Bogues, it is easy to see how living up to your family member’s success could be a challenge. For sophomore KC basketball player Nardie Bogues, it is something he has grown accustomed to.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Nardie said. “I think they feel as though I’m supposed to do everything that he did, but we have two completely different games.”

That is not to say that having an uncle who played in the NBA is without its benefits. Nardie has gained valuable experience playing against his uncle.

“We play all the time,” Nardie said. “He still has it in him even though he’s in his 40s now.”

Muggsy has always been more than willing to share his knowledge of the game with his nephew.

“I tried to teach him what the point guard position called for,” Muggsy said. “You have to get your teammates involved.”

Nardie stands at 5-foot-9, a full six inches taller than his uncle, but is still not the typical height for a basketball player. His uncle became a star despite his height.

“He saw me go through it,” Muggsy said. “The game isn’t about height; it’s about ability and the skills you possess.”

Muggsy preached work ethic to his nephew, something he says Nardie has learned very well.

“He’s a student of the game–a gym rat,” Muggsy said. “Redundancy becomes precision.”

Nardie came to Kilgore from Baltimore, Md., a place drastically from East Texas.

“It was a big adjustment, especially the weather,” Nardie said. “Back at home it’s very cold. I would get sick (in Texas), because I wouldn’t know what type of clothes to wear at the time.”

Life in Baltimore provided many challenges of its own for Nardie.

“It’s hard. Because there’s a lot of crime, you’ve got to watch your surroundings a lot,” Nardie said. “You just got to keep yourself on the right path because there’s a lot of people who try to take you down.”

Nardie has enjoyed his time at KC playing for the Rangers and has adjusted well to Kilgore.

“It’s a great experience, great coaching staff, great people around the area. It’s lovely,” Nardie said.

Nardie has averaged 5.4 points per game, shot 40.5 percent from the field, 31.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 64.3 percent from the line through 22 games this season. He also contributes 2.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

Head coach Brian Hoberecht had positive things to say about Nardie and what KC has been able to do for him both as a player and a student.

“I feel like Nardie has really benefited from his two years at Kilgore by taking the opportunity to play in our system,” Hoberecht said. “He has taken advantage of the academic opportunities.”

Nardie is a business major and has plans for his life should basketball not pan out.

“I just want to get my education and get my degree,” Nardie said. “And if the basketball thing doesn’t work out I just want to be in a professional field (business) somewhere.”

Like a lot of student athletes Nardie aspires to play at the next level, even if that doesn’t mean the NBA.

“I think I’ll be overseas playing basketball,” Nardie said.

Going overseas to play professionally has become an increasingly popular alternative for those who don’t make it to the NBA.

With the work ethic he has learned from his family it appears the future is bright for Nardie Bogues, be it on the basketball court or in the business world.

Nardie has tried to remember what he considers the best advice his uncle has ever given him.

“Just be who you are, never let anyone tell you can’t do anything,” Nardie said.

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