By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There have been an awful lot of outstanding basketball players in the city of Philadelphia over the last several years.READ MORE: FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Centers In Delaware, Montgomery Counties
But few, if any, have played at as high a level on such a consistent basis as Division II University of the Sciences senior forward Garret Kerr.
The son of former Flyers star Tim Kerr, Garret Kerr has been named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Year each of the last three seasons. Heading into tonight’s CACC Tournament semi-final match-up with Philadelphia University, the 6’4″ Kerr has incredible career totals of 2,331 points and 1,357 rebounds, both tops, all-time, in program history. This season, he is averaging 24.8 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. He hit the winning three-pointer back on December 4th when Sciences stunned Division I Drexel at the DAC, 54-52. He has been first or second in the country in rebounds per game in each of his four years on campus and he is a top candidate to be the National Player of the Year in Division II this season, all while working in USciences’ Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
“It’s definitely pretty surreal that (his college basketball career) is coming to an end and I’m just trying to make the most of it now,” Kerr tells KYW Newsradio.
Listen to the entire interview with Sciences senior forward Garret Kerr
Kerr has had a huge effect on the Devils program aside from his points and rebounds. His freshman year, Sciences went just 6-19. His presence and leadership have helped Sciences get better every year and this season they have emerged as one of the top teams in the country this season. The Devils will bring a 24-4 record into Friday night’s game against Philly U and they have spent much of the season nationally ranked.
“Everything he’s gotten, has been directly from his hard work,” Sciences head coach Dave Pauley tells KYW Newsradio. “He has gotten a great return on his investment. He works very hard in the classroom. He’s the only kid really when I tell him something it goes right into his game, I don’t have to drill him for four years. His learning style is really unique and I would say mentally, his concentration and being able to play in the present, it’s nothing like I’ve seen in a long time. And I don’t know if I’ll see it again.”READ MORE: Dozens Of Volunteers Packed Food At Philabundance In South Philly For Food-Insecure Seniors In Honor Of Hunger Action Day
Listen to the entire interview with Sciences head coach Dave Pauley
Kerr is the rare talent who started his career at an elite level and continued to improve from there. He says he thrives on doing his best to stay one step ahead of his opponents.
“I think one of the most fun parts of the whole ride is the adjustment,” Kerr says. “Being able to adjust to what other teams are doing. Every year you see something different. I think that whole process of adapting is kind of the most fun part of it. In the offseason that’s what you’re doing, you’re working hard, trying to adjust your game so that maybe the teams that are trying to stop what you did last year, can’t necessarily be ready for what you’re going to do this year.”
Kerr knows his college basketball career is coming to an end, but he says the time for reflection on his time on the court at Sciences isn’t here yet.
“I kind of have always said that I’ll have time to reflect on it when it’s all done,” Kerr says. “This school has done a pretty good job of making everybody feel appreciated. I know I’ve definitely felt appreciated over my four years with different records that have been broken or different milestones and stuff. But that’s never really been what it was always about. I’ve just kind of said at the end I’d be able to reflect on it. When all the numbers are added up, I’d be able to look back and see what kind of total impact I’ve had.”
Pauley is already very aware of that impact.
“I’ve told everybody, I’ve gotten so much more from him then he’s gotten from me,” Pauley says. “So I mean I’m blessed. I’m blessed to be around somebody like that for four years. I’ll be curious to see how he turns out the next 10, 20, 30 years, too. He’ll be a success in whatever he chooses to do.”MORE NEWS: Wells Fargo Center Parking Lots Won't Accept Cash As Form Of Payment Starting This Weekend
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.