NU Men's Basketball BIO
Tai Webster
Player Profile:
Tai Webster 1602843
Position: Guard
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 195
Year: Senior
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
High School: Westlake Boys
Major: Sociology
Experience: 3 Letters

Honors & Awards 

  • New Zealand National Team (2014-present)
  • 2016 adidas Nations Camp Counselor
  • 2015 Barclays Center Classic All-Tournament Team
  • Three-Time NU Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll
  • 2016 Tom Osborne Citizenship Team

2016-17 (Outlook)
Tai (pronounced Tie) Webster looks to build on a solid junior season, as he becomes the focal point of the Husker attack this season. Webster, whose 52 career starts at Nebraska are more than the rest of the roster combined, was third on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game last season and ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 1.4 steals per game. The 6-foot-4 senior continued to enhance his game over the summer playing with the New Zealand National Team. Webster starred for the Kiwis in the FIBA Olympic qualifier, leading the team in both scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.7 rpg) in helping them reach the semifinals. Webster's size and athleticism makes him a tough matchup for opposing guards, while he has worked hard to expand his game.

2016 (Summer)
Webster represented New Zealand in the FIBA Olympic Tournament Qualifier in July of 2016, playing in all three games to help New Zealand reach the semifinals. He averaged 16.3 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game despite being the youngest player on New Zealand’s 12-man roster. Webster finished tournament play second among all players in rebounding, fifth in scoring and sixth in field goal percentage and assists. His tournament was highlighted by a pair of double-doubles, including a 15-point, 10-rebound effort against Canada in the semifinals.

2015-16 (Junior)
One of the most improved players in the Big Ten, Webster put together the best season of his career in 2015-16. He played in all 34 games, averaging 10.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, doubling his previous bests in both categories. The 6-foot-4 guard also ranked fifth in the BIg Ten in steals at 1.4 per game.

Webster, who made 18 starts, reached double figures 16 times, including a pair of 20-point efforts. He closed the season by playing some of his best basketball in the Big Ten Tournament, averaging 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game to help the Huskers to the quarterfinals. He scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half against No. 18 Maryland, as the Huskers cut a 25-point deficit to six points in the final minute. He also keyed NU's win over Rutgers with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Webster moved back into the starting lineup for the Huskers' final six games and averaged 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game in that stretch.

In Big Ten play, he averaged 9.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. Webster reached double figures in Big Ten play eight times, including a career-high 22 point effort at No. 19 Iowa on Jan. 5. In that game, he hit 7-of-11 shots and also added five rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench. He also had 17 points and three steals at No. 21 Purdue and added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and five rebounds at Illinois. He had nine of his 17 points in a 17-4 first-half run.

After a slow start to the season, Webster enjoyed a breakout performance at the Barclays Center Classic to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. In the opener, Webster set then career bests in points (21) and rebounds (eight) in a four-point loss to No. 24 Cincinnati. The following day, he followed up with an 18-point effort in a win over Tennessee. He also had 15 points in a loss at Crieghton.

2015 (Spain Trip)
Webster was one of the Huskers' most consistent performers on the trip to Spain, averaging 11.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He reached double figures three times, including 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the win over Eurocolegio Casvi.
2014-15 (Sophomore)
Webster emerged as one of the first Huskers off the bench, backing up All-Big Ten performers Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. He played in 30 games, averaging 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 18.4 minutes per game. In all, he had three games in double figures, including a pair of 13-point efforts, and led NU in assists on five occasions in 2014-15. Webster, who fell out of the rotation early in Big Ten play, found a role as NU’s energy guy off the bench and his improved defense showed in other facets of his game. In his final 13 appearances off the bench, he shot nearly 40 percent from the field, including 35 percent from 3-point range, and had a 1.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Webster got off to a slow start in Big Ten play, totaling just five points and playing just 27 minutes during NU’s first five conference games before earning an opportunity against Minnesota on Jan. 20. In that game, he helped limit Andre Hollins to just 2-of-10 shooting in the second half of Nebraska’s 52-49 win. Webster built off that performance with his best game of the season, scoring 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, going 7-of-8 from the line, and adding three rebounds and a pair of steals in 28 minutes to key a 79-77 win over Michigan State on Jan. 24. He nearly keyed a comeback at Penn State, totaling five points and four steals as NU whittled a 20-point second-half deficit to three before falling, as he had five points off the bench in four consecutive games. In all, he scored at least three points in nine of his last 11 contests.
Webster started NU’s first three games before moving to the bench to give the Huskers more scoring punch. He reached double figures in two of NU’s first four games, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and recording four steals against Central Arkansas. He keyed NU’s win over Omaha with 10 points and a season-high four assists in 28 minutes off the bench. It was one of four games in non-conference action where he scored at least seven points off the bench. Webster’s biggest contributions in non-conference action came in the double overtime win over Cincinnati on Dec. 13, when he scored all nine of his points in the second half and the two overtimes. His hustle play and offensive rebound with 1:18 left in the second OT led to Benny Parker’s game-winning basket against the Bearcats. Webster also had seven points off the bench against Tennessee-Martin and Incarnate Word.
2014 (Summer)
Webster competed for New Zealand's Senior National Team, including the FIBA World Cup in Spain, helping his team to the round of 16. He averaged 5.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game despite being the fourth-youngest player in the tournament. Webster had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in a win over the Ukraine and added seven points and five rebounds against Turkey. Against Team USA he had four points and a pair of blocked shots in 15 minutes against the eventual gold medalists.
2013-14 (Freshman)
Webster was an immediate contributor for the Huskers as a true freshman, averaging 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in helping the Huskers reach the NCAA Tournament. He led NU with 63 assists and also was among the team leaders in steals. Webster reached double figures four times, including a season-high 14 points against Georgia, and paced the squad in assists eight times.
In Big Ten play, Webster started all 18 games, as he split time with Benny Parker during the second half of the season. He averaged just 2.6 points per game in conference play, but helped the Huskers in other areas as he was second on the team in assists (31) and fourth in steals (13) while hitting 73 percent from the foul line after entering Big Ten play at 56 percent. He enjoyed his best effort in conference play against Penn State on Feb. 23, totaling 10 points, a season-high five rebounds and a team-best three assists. It marked his first double-digit effort in Big Ten play, as he went 8-of-10 from the line against the Nittany Lions. Webster also performed well in NU’s win over No. 18 Ohio State with nine points, including 5-of-6 from the foul line, and two rebounds. Webster had five points and four assists in 29 minutes in the win over Minnesota on Jan. 26 and had four points, two assists and two steals against Indiana on Jan. 30. He dished out four assists and matched his personal best with four steals at No. 22 Iowa on Dec. 31.
In his collegiate debut, Webster totaled nine points, two rebounds and an assist in helping the Huskers to a 79-55 win over Florida Gulf Coast. He reached double figures for the first time in his young career against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. He had 12 points and two assists in a loss to UMass on Nov. 22, before enjoying the best game of his career on Nov. 24 against Georgia. In that game, he came off the bench to score 14 points and dish out three assists in NU’s 73-65 win. Webster scored 13 of his points in the second half and went 7-of-9 from the foul line. The Georgia game began a five-game stretch where he averaged 4.2 assists per game, dishing out five dimes against Miami, Creighton and Arkansas State.
Before Nebraska
Webster has enjoyed a decorated career on the international stage, as well as in his native New Zealand. After graduating from Westlake Boys High School, Webster played for the Waikato Pistons in the National Basketball League in New Zealand in 2012-13, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game despite being the youngest player in the league. In his final year in school, Webster led the Westlake Boys High School and Coach Ben Eves to the National Secondary Schools Basketball Championships in October of 2012, scoring 24 points en route to garnering tournament MVP honors.

Much of Webster's acclaim was on the national and international stage, as he was selected for the New Zealand team at 17 years old. He made his national team debut in 2012, leading the Tall Blacks in scoring three times in six contests in his first senior national team action. He averaged 13.5 points per game in the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field. His 21 points led all scorers in a win over Angola, as he went 7-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. He topped New Zealand in scoring in pretournament competition against both Olympic qualifier Brazil (eight) and Greece (18). He also won a gold medal at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship in Italy in 2011. In addition to his basketball exploits, he also played volleyball at Westlake Boys High School.

Webster selected Nebraska over Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest, St. Mary’s, LSU and SMU. He was a four-star recruit by and one of the top point guards in the class of 2013.

Tai is the son of Cherry and Tony Webster and was born on May 29, 1995, in Auckland, New Zealand. He has one older brother, Corey, who was also a member of New Zealand's national team in 2014 and is in training camp with the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans. Tony Webster was a standout athlete in his own right, earning first team All-WAC honors at Hawaii in 1983 and ranking fourth on Hawaii’s career steals list before playing professionally. Tai majors in sociology at Nebraska and is on pace to graduate in May of 2017.

  Minutes  Total  3-Point  F-Throws  Rebounds   
Year  gp-gs  min  avg  fg  fga  pct  fg  fga  pct  ft  fta  pct  off  def  tot  avg  pf  fo  ast  t/o  blk  stl  pts  avg 
2013-14   32-30  729  22.8  34  112  .304  35  .171  52  84  .619  14  52  66  2.1  74  63  58  24  126  3.9 
2014-15   30-4  551  18.4  39  109  .358  12  52  .231  28  38  .737  12  45  57  1.9  64  35  39  21  118  3.9 
2015-16   34-18  941  27.7  126  266  .474  21  60  .350  71  96  .740  27  113  140  4.1  74  66  71  12  46  344  10.1 
TOTAL  96-52  2221  23.1  199  487  .409  39  147  .265  151  218  .693  53  210  263  2.7  212  164  168  19  91  588  6.1 
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