By Steven Rodriguez
For most collegiate student athletes, the journey to the professional leagues is nothing short of impossible. This was not the case for Texas Tech basketball alumnus Toddrick Gotcher.
Gotcher started his five-year career at Texas Tech in 2011 and has never looked back. He has now left United States to continue his dream of playing professional basketball in the Greek Basketball League for ASA Koroivos Amaliadas.
“I would have never thought that I would be overseas living out a dream playing basketball the way I am now,” Gotcher said. “This has always been a dream, but now I am living the dream out.”
By his senior year in the 2015-2016 season, he was averaging a team high 10.9 points per game, along with 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
That Texas Tech team, which was lead by Gotcher and then-head coach Tubby Smith, made the NCAA Tournament. This was the first time a Texas Tech team has made the big dance since 2007.
Gotcher, who graduated in the fall of 2016 with a master’s degree in sports management, had a choice to pursue a job in his degree studies or keep his basketball playing dreams alive overseas.
Gotcher had to leave his family and friends behind, including his fiancée, Kelly McQuaid.
McQuaid, who is currently finishing her education at Texas Tech University, says it has been hard being apart from Gotcher, but wants him to follow his passion for playing basketball professionally.
“I was extremely happy and sad all at the same time,” McQuaid said.
Despite them being several thousand miles away, the two have found ways to keep their relationship strong and thriving.
“This is very hard to play overseas without family members here to support, but I do realize that this is a business and my job is to perform on the basketball court,” Gotcher said.
Gotcher and McQuaid plan to live together after she finishes school no matter where he plays next season.
McQuaid said the move will not be easy for her because of her close relationships with her family and the thought of adjusting to a different country can be scary.
“Toddrick is my best friend and being away from him is harder than moving will be,” McQuaid said.
Gotcher had to adjust to the different style of basketball overseas compared to playing in the United States, but he has welcomed the challenge.
“The rules are very different and the culture of basketball is different,” Gotcher said. “It is really fun to adjust.”
Gotcher is fueled by his constant support from his family and former teammates.
One of Gotcher’s former teammates and roommates, Clark Lammert, always believed Gotcher could make a career out of playing basketball.
“I knew Toddrick was a talented player and he matured into a leader in his time at Texas Tech. He has great potential to be a good professional player,” Lammert said.
Current and former students at Texas Tech also share their support for Gotcher and his future endeavors.
Austin McGonigal is a Texas Tech alum that watched Gotcher play throughout his time at Texas Tech.
“Not a lot of Texas Tech basketball players go on to the NBA or play professionally at all, so when I found out he was going overseas to play, I was pretty hyped,” McGonigal said.