Greg Ostertag was born a natural athlete. Ball, bat, puck, or stick - it didn’t matter. It all came so easily. It seemed there was nothing he couldn’t do. No game he couldn’t dominate. No sport he couldn’t master. Duncanville, Texas - City of Champions - had itself a contender.
As the years slipped past, the boy grew, reaching his full height of 7’2” in middle school. Clearly, basketball would be his pathway to glory. His days echoed with familiar rhythms. Ka-thunk. Ka-thunk. Ka-thunk. Shoes squeaking sharply against the wood floor. Voices alternating between laughter and shouts of encouragement. He takes the shot; the ball swishes cleanly through the net. The buzzer sounds. Cheers erupt. And he dreamed big dreams.
By eighteen, Ostertag was indeed glory bound. He held the shot block record for the Kansas Jayhawks in college; became the 1st round draft pick for the Utah Jazz. Fame and fortune were fully within his grasp.
The next 11 years were spent alternating between delighting and infuriating his teammates, coaches and fans. In 2006, Ostertag retired from the NBA. In his own restless way, the first one didn’t stick. In December 2011, Ostertag briefly returned to professional basketball. His knee injury had the final word. He still dreamed big dreams, but they had changed as much as he had along the way. Underneath it all, Ostertag longed to return to his small town Texas roots.
When asked about his time in the NBA, Ostertag speaks with a sense of pride and self-deprecating good humor, tempered by just the right amount of wistfulness and regret. He fully understands the privilege he enjoyed; he’s proud of the opportunities he ‘carpe diem’-ed the hell out of; and regrets the once-in-a-lifetime chances he could be accused of squandering. Dreams don’t always come true in the way you think they will.
Today, Ostertag spends the bulk of his time on a small farm nestled in historic Mount Vernon, Texas with his wife, Shannon, and a set of six kids (yours, mine & ours) ranging from elementary school to college. There are plenty of big dreams to chase in their small town.
Spending time with Shannon and the kids, as well as extended family and friends. Hunting and fishing. One household task Ostertag savors? Mowing epically large swaths of grass. He thinks his tractor’s sexy. But back to more big dreams...
Building an award-winning construction company focused on commercial and residential new construction, remodeling, and interior design. Earning a Realtor license. Working with broker Renee Harvey of Century 21 Harvey Properties, one of the leading farm & ranch land real estate firms in Texas. Buying and restoring historic commercial buildings and launching businesses downtown. Opening up landmark buildings with new businesses that bustle with people sharing life and a sense of community once believed lost. Each step forward is one step closer.
In the midst of building big dreams with others in mind, Ostertag is realizing his own.
To read more about Ostertag's basketball career, check out his Wikipedia page.