Bader 16 3-pointers short of all-time NCAA record

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Travis Bader fires up a “Bader Bomb.” The guard finished with 14 points.

Matt Saulino

In his Oakland career Travis Bader has accumulated some noteworthy statistics as a Golden Grizzly, but is on the brink of his most impressive accomplishment yet. Bader is currently on pace to break the all-time NCAA 3-point record held by former Duke guard and current Los Angeles Clipper J.J. Redick.

Redick holds the record at 457 threes in 1,126 attempts from 2002-2006, leaving Bader just 16 “Bader Bombs” shy of cementing his legacy in NCAA basketball history.

Bader also currently ranks fourth all-time in scoring for Oakland with 2,067 points, passing former teammate Keith Benson earlier this season.

The Post spoke with Bader on what the record would mean to him and his Grizzly career as a whole.

On how he got to Oakland:

“Coming out of Okemos high school, I wasn’t heavily recruited by any means. This was the only Division I school to offer me a scholarship. For me it was a no-brainer with wanting to play D1 basketball, and it was close to home.” 

Jonathan Jones was a former teammate with Bader at OU and Okemos High School. Bader also added how he helped influence his decision. Jones told him how great OU was, that he loved it here, and he never regretted the decision.

On remembering his first 3-pointer:

“It was at West Virginia and I came in and hit my first shot that I took, it was a three. And I think I had another backdoor layup followed by another three. That was all in the first half. I was blessed to be out there and get the start in my first game as a freshman, and I took advantage of the opportunity.”

Bader received a spot-start in his first game vs. WVU due to disciplinary action taken on two would-be starters for the game. Bader, who was about two inches and 25 pounds smaller than who he replaced, came up big for the Grizzlies with 15 points. It’s one of Kampe’s favorite stories on the origins of Bader at Oakland.

On his most memorable moment at OU:

“It’s gotta be playing in the NCAA Tournament from winning the Summit League’s conference tournament. That beats anything that I can remember. Just celebrating with the guys on the court after we won, and getting to go through the whole process of the Selection Show Sunday.”

The Grizzlies made the NCAA Tournament in 2011 as a No. 13 seed. They lost to the Texas Longhorns 85-81. Bader, a freshman at the time, had 10 points in the game. The 13 seed is the highest an Oakland team has ever been ranked in the tournament.

On “The Record”:

“I didn’t know where I was at before this morning when somebody came up and told me, but it’s not like I’m asking people where I’m at. I’m not going to be adding the number in my head. I’m just going to go out there and try and play the same game. If I have an open look I’m going to take it, if I’m not I’ll drive it or pass, I’m not going to force it.”

In addition to being OU’s all-time 3-point leader with 442, Bader also holds the school’s record for most in a season (139) and most in a game (11). Bader currently ranks fourth all-time in 3-point percentage for OU, just decimals away from passing former Grizzly Eric Kangas.

On his future:

“I want to keep playing basketball as long as my body allows me to. It’s been a dream of mine to play in the NBA, and I believe I can play in the NBA. It comes with hard work and that’s something I’m not a stranger to. When the season is over I’d like to get a look from the NBA and maybe overseas as well.”

On what made him the player he is today:

“It was Reggie Hamilton, just being around him helped me. When I was younger I was a little timid and I developed a really good relationship with him. We would always work out together, and when I saw how hard he worked, it made me want to work harder.”

Reggie Hamilton holds the record for most points in a single season for Oakland with 942, which was during Bader’s sophomore season. As his successor, Bader put up 730 points that next year.

On Coach Kampe:

“I can’t even put it into words, he’s the reason I’m here. For me, he’s been everything. He’s never satisfied, and that’s good because he’s always pushing me to do more. He’s always there for me off the court if I ever need him, and I have the utmost respect for that man.”

Greg Kampe is the 5th winningest active coach at a single school in the NCAA. Kampe’s team usually showcases a sharpshooter, clearly Bader has exceeded all expectations for that role.

The Grizzlies play next at Cleveland State on Jan. 16 and at Green Bay on Jan. 22. As Bader chases the 3-point record, OU fans can stream these games live on the Horizon League’s website, www.horizonleague.org. Oakland then returns home to play the University of Illinois at Chicago on Jan. 25.