Brad Kerns and Parenting the Way It Should Be

Posted: September 11, 2016 in Parenting


For some of us, 9/11 has another, even deeper meaning . . . 

During my coaching career I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great parents. Oh, I’ve had a few of those “helicopter” parents that you read about, always wanting to hover over their kid and protect them. For the most part, though, my parents have been fantastic. Perhaps the best example I can think of involved Brad Kerns, father of Craig, and a very good friend of mine. Brad passed away 18-years ago today on 9/11, but those who knew him will never forget him.

The story below illustrates exactly what I’m talking about . . .

It was during my early years of coaching at Paint Valley, and we were having an open gym. Brad was there watching, and at some point during play Craig and another player, Josh Anderson, got into an argument about the score. On the one hand I was pissed that they were being idiots on the court, on the other I was secretly happy that they were so competitive that they were arguing over an open gym score.

Anyway, after I told them to cool it they kept it up. Finally, I’d had enough. I threw them out of the gym, partially to prove a point, partially because they hadn’t listened to me and kept fighting.

But as they left and I turned away, I was smiling. I knew that kind of intensity would lead to great things down the road.

And it did.

But here comes the good parenting part . . .

Although Craig was thrown out of the gym, Brad just sat there, watching the guys play as if nothing had happened. I never mentioned it and he never brought it up. In fact, he stayed until open gym concluded at 9:00 PM.

In the meantime Craig, who was underage and therefore couldn’t drive, sat in his dad’s truck, waiting for his dad and fuming.

Of course, Dad finally showed up, and the conversation between father and son was repeated to me later . . .

Craig: “I’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half! He threw me out of the gym! Where have you been?”

Brad: “At open gym. I didn’t get thrown out, you did.”

And that, my friends, was a teachable moment. Mommy and daddy won’t always be there to save you. You screw up, you suffer the consequences, which in this case meant sitting in a truck by yourself for an hour and a half until your dad is ready to leave.

Brad Kerns was a great, great dad who raised a wonderful son. That son turned into a fine man and an even better husband and father. This happened because of the qualities his parents, Louella and Brad, instilled in him.

Should it be a surprise that Craig went on to score over 1000 points, be an All-Ohioan and a McDonald’s All-American who earned a full scholarship to play college basketball?

It wasn’t a surprise to me. I expected it, partly because I knew Craig was raised the right way.

Because that night in open gym, Craig learned that when he screwed up Brad wouldn’t always step in to save him, especially when it was his fault.

Well done, Brad. You did good.

And I know that, without a doubt, you’d be proud of the man your son has become.

  1. karencoey says:

    Thank you for this blog. I remember watching Brad play BBall … He was a Kingstonian like my husband. A good guy.. Neil has great memories of the skating rink and scouts .. He said Brad always treated him good.

  2. Andrew William Adkins says:

    I used to spend a few nights at Craig’s. Brad was a great man. You threw me and Craig out one time also in practice. We (2nd) team were running a stall drill and he tackled me on the sideline. I came up swinging and you threw us both out. Lol

Gimme a holler.

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