Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

The Glue Guy: Brock Cunningham wraps up historic Texas career

Lorianne Willett
Brock Cunningham stands outside of a huddle during Texas’ game against Oklahoma on March 9, 2024.

The buzzer’s just about to sound for Brock Cunningham.

It’s difficult to believe that the well of eligibility has at last run dry for Cunningham, a player who has seemed to stick around for an eternity. Within the next few weeks, though, he’ll don his jersey for the last time, and, finally, though not in acquiescence to the oft-vulgar prodding of opposing Big 12 fanbases, move on.

For the past six years, Cunningham has been a rock for a program in flux. After nearly two decades of sustained success under head coach Rick Barnes, while still winning, Longhorn men’s basketball has been adrift, with current head coach Rodney Terry hopefully the man for the job. The constant has been Cunningham.

It wasn’t always so shiny for Cunningham, who played sparingly in his second season after redshirting his first. For the majority of players in the current college basketball landscape, hitting the transfer portal would be a foregone conclusion. For Cunningham, it was an afterthought.

“I never really did,” Cunningham said when asked if he ever considered playing elsewhere. “I was frustrated at different times but could never stomach the pill of leaving the University of Texas. I wanted to be here. Over three coaches, a pandemic, injuries, I wanted to be a Longhorn my entire time growing up, so it just never really made sense for me to even think about it.”

Cunningham’s Longhorn roots run deep, as he is the son of Ed, a former offensive lineman at Texas in the 1980s who may have made it professionally if not for a foot injury. The apple, who with one more win will notch his 110th and become the winningest player in Texas men’s basketball history, clearly didn’t fall far from the tree.

“Anything Texas is doing, I think we’re gonna win,” Ed said. “I’m the worst homer of all time. There’s no sport that Texas has ever played that I haven’t believed we were going to win regardless of whatever it was. (Even if) Our baseball team (is) against the New York Yankees, I’m like, I think we’ve got a chance. I’m always that guy.”

While Ed didn’t necessarily push him in that direction, over the past few seasons, Brock has become an enforcer for the Longhorns, a descriptor other fanbases might replace with more profane titles. Before heading to Texas, fellow graduate forward and Texas stalwart Dylan Disu would’ve agreed.

“Brock is definitely a villain on the court, for sure,” Disu said. “I didn’t like Brock before I came to Texas. … Brock’s a guy that everybody hates playing against, but if he’s on your team, you love him to death.”

It’s no secret that Brock embraces the hate. Ed recalls an instance last season when Texas played Iowa State in Ames. Texas junior guard Tyrese Hunter, who had transferred from the Cyclones after his freshman season, was predictably heckled relentlessly by his former fanbase.

“We get out of there, and Amy, who’s my wife, is the nicest person,” Ed said. “She goes, ‘is Tyrese okay?’ And Brock goes, ‘Oh yeah, he’s fine. I’m so jealous.’”

Once Texas’ season wraps up, whether it’s this weekend in Charlotte or deeper in the NCAA Tournament, Brock has a quick turnaround. Once Texas is done playing, he will load up his truck and begin his annual solo road trip up the west coast, visiting old friends and making some new ones along the way. With additional summer trips planned to Turkey and Puerto Rico to see former Longhorns Logan Eggleston and Jase Febres, respectively, it’s clear Brock intends to see more of the world than the place he’s spent all 25 years of life.

“Hopefully play professional basketball in Australia,” Brock said of his plans after graduation. “That’s my goal right now, I want to make it over there. I just think it’d be a ton of fun.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.