By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has produced a whole lot of special basketball players over the years. Donnie Carr was definitely one of them. A sharpshooter out of Roman Catholic High School, Carr went to La Salle and poured in 2,067 points. That’s the fifth highest total in the storied history of the school.
Now Carr is trying his hand at coaching, as an assistant to his high school teammate R.C. Kehoe at Division II Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia.
Carr’s first taste of coaching came after his playing days were done. He spent a few seasons playing overseas, but eventually injuries derailed his career. And he says that was a difficult time in his life, but then his Roman family came calling.
“I was really depressed to be honest. Then I got a call from a former teammate of mine Chris McNesby, who was coaching at Roman. He said, ‘Just come down, come work out with the team, just come be a part of the team and see how you like it.’ And I just fell in love with it. I was back involved with the game, I felt like I had so much to give the kids in high school. Just teaching them little things I’ve learned over the years.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Donnie Carr:
While the coaching was new for Carr, it was not a surprise for many who helped him during his playing days. He says coaches often told him that way he saw the game would lead to him being a coach one day.
“When I was a player, I wasn’t the best athlete or the highest jumper or the quickest runner so I always watched game film of myself and tried to critique my game and I was a student of the game, so to speak, that’s the way I always played the game. I always broke down the game and tried to get a competitive edge on my opponents.”
“Patience. Because not everyone sees the game from a coach’s eye. So you have to have patience with the kids that you’re teaching.”
Holy Family will wrap up their regular season tonight as they host another familiar name in Philadelphia basketball history, Herb Magee and his Philadelphia University Rams. The Tigers are 12-12 this season and they have qualified for the Central Athletic Collegiate Conference Tournament in Carr’s first season on staff.