Editors’ note: Nebraska basketball player and former Lincoln Pius X standout Charlie Easley recently transferred to South Dakota State after joining the Huskers as a walk-on last season.
“Charlie! Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!”
Charlie Easley’s name could be heard throughout the arena as he shot a free throw in Nebraska matchup with Indiana in Pinnacle Bank Arena. Easley, a freshman point guard at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, seems to have come a long way since he was a little kid playing basketball in his backyard. The Lincoln, Neb. native has always wanted to be a part of the Nebraska men’s basketball team. He started his freshman year as a walk-on and was able to earn a scholarship by the end of his first semester.
“Charlie always had the dream of being a Husker ever since he was a little boy,” Easley’s mother said. “(He) always has spent time extra in the gym to be able to reach his goals. Now it is finally beginning to pay off.”
Easley is playing crucial time for the Huskers, but there were also some moments as a player that shaped him to be where he is today.
“I put in quite a bit of time on the court and off the court to be the best I could,” Easley said. “I would stay extra and get to practice early every day.”
There was no particular awful moment in Easley’s life, but he did struggle when he would play a bad game or go through rough parts of a season. That is what he felt helped shape him to be the player that he is today.
“When I was in middle school, I would go out and shoot around in practice great, but during games I was struggling quite a bit, but I just kept my head down and stayed grinding,” Easley said. “I was able to make it out of that shooting slump. And to this day, I will never forget that because when I go through struggles, it helps me think about how I got out of those struggles when I was younger.”
His shooting and playmaking abilities are, he said, by far his favorite parts of his game. His personal future goals as a Husker are to make the starting lineup and to push his team to be the best it can be. Easley played 25 games during the 2019-20 season for the Huskers and averaged about nine minutes per game. He did not have the kind of play time that a person on scholarship normally would have but he tried to make the most of every second on the court. That includes making the little plays that a coach wants from a player.
Easley received a lot of interest from smaller programs—like South Dakota State, University of Nebraska at Kearney and Rockhurst—but his dream was to always play for the Huskers. That made making the team even more special but it really meant the world when he received a scholarship.
“(We always grew up) Husker fans, and Charlie always had the dream of playing for Nebraska,” Easley’s brother, Sam, said.