“It got me emotional”: Bandoumel’s locker room speech rallies Huskers into hot streak

Emmanuel Bandoumel
Emmanuel Bandoumel(Nebraska Athletics)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 10:52 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Players said Thursday the turning point in the Nebraska men’s basketball season isn’t the Huskers’ near-upset of the Big Ten leading Purdue.

Nor is it the overtime win against Wisconsin or Maryland.

Instead, it was a loss when Emmanuel Bandoumel delivered a passionate speech afterward.

Bandoumel had just been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

His college career was cut short and after the Huskers’ 19-point loss to Northwestern, he moved to the middle of the locker room and addressed the team.

“I was proud to put that jersey on and it was taken away from me,” Bandoumel said. " I’m still alive. I can find ways as a leader to push guys to do better.”

The conversation remains private but Bandoumel gave a powerful message that his teammates said has sparked Nebraska’s second-half surge.

“It got me emotional,” said senior Sam Griesel. “He delivered one of the greatest speeches I’ve ever heard.”

Since Bandoumel’s speech, the Huskers have won four of their last six games.

“He let us know how he felt. That hit a lot of people’s hearts,” said senior Derrick Walker. “Everyone loves him and he loves everyone back.”

Before Bandoumel’s injury, the senior from Canada was averaging eight points and five rebounds.