Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Questionable Behavior

I found it telling, while not necessarily surprising that an extremely limited contingent from Birmingham Detroit Country Day was present at Kurt Keener's goodbye dinner last week – Keener, the Yellowjackets longtime coaching great on the boys basketball floor, winner of nine state championships, is leaving Michigan and the DYNASTY he personally constructed at the corner of Lahser and 13 Mile Rd the past 35 years. to finish his career on the bench down in Arizona.
For whatever reason, it's become obvious to me that certain very powerful forces at DCD resent what Keener did at the school and are glad he is gone.
It's head-scratching, I know.
Most high school communities and athletic departments would give their proverbial left arm to be able to call themselves the home to what Keener's 'Jackets are/were – a recognized NATIONAL prep hoops power that churns out D1 talent like water from a faucet and always graduates the type of "character guys" you can be proud of.
But for some reason, there are many people in the DCD community that didn't like it.
They want to be known as an institution of higher learning, not for their Big Balling on the hardwood.
Keener and his program received very little student support – the majority of the packed houses at 'Jackets games these past few decades were pure hoop fans and college scouts.
And judging by who did and didn't show up at Keener's farewell ceremony, I suspect internally they didn't get a lot of support either.
That's really sad.
Especially, since what he built there was so special and that in the end I can honestly say he was the type of person who authentically invested in the kids he coached and took on a mentoring role that went far beyond the court and way past wins-and-losses. Oh, yeah, he was also the AD at the school and did one heck of a job in that post, too.
The fact that Keener wasn't allowed to name his successor last month is no coincidence. And this is no slap in the face to Mark Bray, who is as class-act as class-act can be and will do the school justice on the sidelines as his replacement (Bray did come and pay his respects to Coach K at the dinner and that wasn't surprising, 'cause he knows how to do things the right way).
However what is a slap in the face is the way some people have treated a departing legend and the manner in which Keener seems to have been hurried out the door and it slammed behind him without much finesse or the PR love you might expect from a similar situation elsewhere. He deserved better.


Blogger Toiya said...

Excellence should he honored in all areas! God bless Coach!

July 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM 

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