LINCOLN — Kent Pavelka is 70 years old now.

“I’m way past the point where I’m afraid of the consequences,” he said.

Want proof? Check his wrist.

Inked in black is tattooed the famous catch phrase of the voice of Husker basketball.

“Everybody who sees it, they’re like, ‘What’s that mean?’ ” Pavelka said, laughing. “Not everyone gets it.”

But he doesn’t really care. He’s past the point of caring, and he’s also past the point of trying to win anyone over. Especially after Tuesday night, when he was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Pavelka was told about the honor on Valentine’s Day but kept it secret until this week, when he was introduced and took the stage at a convention center in Papillion.

“It’s something that, anybody who receives the award is proud,” Pavelka said. “There’s some pretty heavy names on that list.”

Pavelka said he remembers attending the event in the mid-1970s as a young broadcaster and wishing that could be him some day.

“It’s just one of those things that you know, you’re aware of and you think, ‘Boy, that’d be pretty cool if I were to ever get that.’”

Around the same time of the Hall of Fame ceremony in the ’70s, Pavelka was offered the Nebraska play-by-play job after a chance encounter with a broadcasting bigwig at an event in Fremont. Pavelka called his 1,000th Husker hoops game this past season and will return this fall for the first season under Fred Hoiberg.

His goal remains intact: He won’t stop until Nebraska wins its first NCAA tournament game.

Pavelka watched five of Nebraska’s 10 practices in preparation for Italy. He likes what he sees.

“The first practice I walked into, Hoiberg walked right up to me and welcomed me and said, ‘Come anytime,’” Pavelka said. “He really made me feel welcome, and all the coaches did, too.”

Pavelka knows the hurt of Husker basketball, so he watches with a skeptical eye. He likes a few guys, particularly Western Kentucky transfer Dalano Banton. Hoiberg’s system alone could be problematic for teams to defend, Pavelka said.

He’s antsy to call the season. And this year, when he’s stopped by fans, he’ll have some new ink to show them.

Pavelka ink

Nebraska basketball broadcaster Kent Pavelka added his fourth tattoo this offseason, his famous catchphrase: "Bangarang."

Which, as it turns out, isn’t his first tattoo.

It’s his fourth.

When Pavelka turned 50, he decided he wanted one. So he started conservatively with a tiny smiley face on his shoulder.

“I came home and I told my wife, ‘I’m gonna get one every 10 years,’” Pavelka said.

At 60, it was a big red N. He returned home and changed the rules. It’d be every five years now. Sixty-five was marked with a motivational quote, which is hidden on his back, too.

At 70, he couldn’t resist.

“I said, ‘What the hell, let’s get Bangarang on my wrist,’ ” he said.

Legends don’t have much to lose.

Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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