By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of the Sciences men’s basketball team dropped a hard-fought 77-67 decision Wednesday night to Chestnut Hill in CACC action. In that game, Sciences freshman forward Garret Kerr had 14 points and ten rebounds. Numbers like that have become commonplace for Kerr here in a season which is turning heads both locally and nationally.
Now if the last name Kerr rings a bell, it should. Garret is the son of former Flyers star Tim Kerr. While Dad made a living collecting rebounds and turning them into goals on the ice, the younger Kerr also does his best work around the net – just a different type of net.
Garret Kerr is averaging 15.3 points the game and an amazing 12.3 rebounds. Wednesday’s performance represented his 13th consecutive “double-double”. That season rebound average is not only tops on the team and tops in the conference, it’s the top number in the nation in Division II. Not bad for a freshman who at 6’3″, rarely, if ever, enjoys a height advantage against anyone in the post. Kerr talks about learning he was high man in the country on the glass.
“It was pretty humbling. I mean it’s not something you want to think about, you don’t want to go out on the court and think about stats – you want to play to help your team win. I’ve tried not to think about it, it’s not really important, it’s more about winning games. At the end of the day, if those are your stats and it’s helping your team win – that’s what it’s all about.”
“When the ball is in the air, he is moving his body and getting to a better angle. He goes after every rebound, he assumes every shot’s missed. Hopefully he has learned from me to get his hands above his head to rebound, because most rebounds are taken above your head and below the rim.
“Plus he goes after the ball with two hands. A lot of rebounders are one-handed. He has very good hands, very strong hands. In this game, you’ve got to catch the ball cleanly and he does do that. A lot of rebounds are tipped and fumbled and things like that. The word that you want to use is he snatches the ball.”
Now when your dad had four consecutive 50-goal seasons in the NHL, the knee jerk assumption is that if that any athletes in the family will excel, it will also be on the ice. Garret says he did lace up the skates when he was younger, but growing up down the Jersey shore made hockey a bit difficult to pursue.
“Me and my brothers definitely starting out playing hockey and the closest rink was 40 minutes away. So it was tough playing hockey and the travel eventually was starting to add up and waking up early in the morning was starting to get tedious. Basketball was, of course, right down the street, so my dad thought it was a good idea to get into basketball and we started to do both. And eventually, as we grew older, and it got harder to play multiple sports, we stuck to basketball.”
And everyone at the University of the Sciences is really happy about that.
So does the younger Kerr every think about how his game in a way compares to his dad’s, just on a different surface?
“It is funny because we have had that conversation. It is sort of comparative, because a lot of his goals were scored in front of the net coming off rebounds and shots from the point so it does have a comparison and it’s funny to think about.”
Garret Kerr and the rest of the University of the Sciences team will be back in action on Saturday when they host Dominican (NY).
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with David Pauley:
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Garret Kerr: