I don't usually celebrate milestones, but five years ago today, on February 1, 2006, I started posting everything I knew about former Maryland basketball players playing in the NBA, playing overseas, and coaching. I had been searching the web for former players, compiled a list of links, and planned to just post them to one of those newfangled blogs, one at a time, once a day, until I ran out of material. And, on February 25th, I indeed ran out of things to post and went on vacation, unsure if I would keep up with this blog or not. I figured maybe after a few months of inactivity, I'd just turn this into a blog with funny pictures of my cat (yeah, that would have been stupid and unprofitable). My hiatus lasted about a month, and I've been posting about the Terps regularly ever since.
It started with a question that, if my site's search term stats are any indication, is the same question that many of you have asked yourselves a few seconds before you arrived at this blog for the first time: "What ever happened to Exree Hipp?" And while I never quite satisfactorily answered that, the question did lead me to search for all the other former players.
Part of my philosophy in starting the blog was that we root hard for players for four years, and we shouldn't forget them or stop rooting for them after they graduate. Once a Terp, always a Terp. It used to be that if players didn't make the NBA, they just disappeared from everyone's radar, only occasionally reappearing at the Midnight Madness alumni game or the rare Where Are They Now? story in the paper. It's hard to root for someone who plays in Serbia or Lithuania when there is no news in English. But Google search and translation has made it more accessible for me to do the work and you to follow along with me.
About half the visitors here come through Google searches for former players. (Yes, Exree Hipp is usually in the top 10, but other players cycle in and out of the top spots; Bambale Osby was #1 last month.) Mostly it's Maryland fans, but also a fair number from Europe who are just fans of our players. And there are plenty of regulars that stop by when there's a new story up, and double that amount if a bigger website links here.
A big thanks to Testudo Times and the Baltimore Sun for being those "bigger websites" that link here the most. And thanks to everyone who put this blog in their blog-rolls or posted links to my stories, especially D1scourse, Shell Games, and TerrapinStats.com, who have sent a lot of people my way over the years. And if you have a Terps blog and you're not in my blog roll, it's just because I don't know about you yet, so send me an e-mail.
So... another 5 years? Sure. Why not. Or maybe I'll just start posting cat pictures one day, slap up some ads, and become rich enough to quit my day job.
In the meantime, you should all be following and re-tweeting my Twitter feed, @MDBballWATN, and "like"ing the blog's Facebook page.
Go Terps (past, present, and future)!