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Kerr shines for University of the Sciences despite Division II school being only college offer

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Garret Kerr was desperate.With no schools recruiting him heading into his senior year in high school, his goal of playing college basketball was slipping away.He transferred to a new high school an hour and a half away from his family to play for a better team, but still the college offers never came. The coaches that came to watch him weren’t impressed.“I guess I just didn’t play very well,” Kerr said, “and it just didn’t work out.”Anxious and stressed, he began visiting preparatory schools as a last resort. But Kerr didn’t want to wait. He wanted to play college basketball right away.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd then, David Pauley, the head coach at University of the Sciences, gave Kerr a chance that no one else would.In return, the coach got a player who finished no lower than second in Division II in rebounds per game and double-doubles his first three seasons in college. Now a senior, Kerr is second in rebounds per game and leads all players with 15 double-doubles in 17 games. Though his basketball future was once uncertain, he’s led the Devils (13-4) to a first-place spot in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference during a dominant senior season.“He’s a very tough kid,” said Shawn Anstey, Kerr’s coach at Moorestown (New Jersey) High School. “He knows the game of basketball … He’s an absolute beast in college … He’s probably going to be player of year again for the country for D-II. I can’t really pinpoint a weakness in his game.”Kerr and his younger brothers, Wes and Tanner — who are current teammates of Garret with the Devils — were always expected to take after their father, Tim Kerr, a former all-star for the Philadelphia Flyers, and play hockey. But Garret Kerr and Wes grew tired of the early-morning trips from their home in Avalon, New Jersey to the nearest rink in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Instead, the two focused on basketball.Playing together, they started to take the sport seriously.But Kerr still didn’t make the varsity team at Moorestown until his junior year. During the season, college coaches had talked to Anstey about Kerr, but nothing ever materialized, so Kerr transferred to Middle Township (New Jersey) High School to improve his game and boost his exposure.“That was definitely a pretty difficult decision just because I was kind of moving away from my family,” Kerr said. “… I actually didn’t really have much of a choice.”At the school, Kerr restructured his shot. An inconsistent jumper plagued by an awkwardly bent elbow turned into a smoother, simpler stroke that released the ball above his head. Hours spent with head coach Tom Feraco and in the gym practicing with a shooting gun helped him gain more arc and touch on the ball.He worked out and improved his conditioning and footwork to make up for his lack of size needed to play in the paint.“That’s just how he is,” Wes said. “That’s his nature. He likes to work.”Feraco campaigned for Kerr, but Pauley was the only coach who was interested. Now, Pauley’s entire offense revolves around Kerr, who has been one of the most dominant players in the country.It was Kerr’s game-winning 3-pointer to beat Drexel on Dec. 4, 2014 that gave the Devils the first win for a non-Division I school on the road against a D-I team in 227 tries. And despite being overlooked by nearly every school, he’s made the most of the only college basketball opportunity he had.Said Kerr: “I think it’s just pretty cool to have success when a few years ago, I didn’t really know where I was going or what I was doing.” Comments Published on January 21, 2015 at 12:04 am Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettuslast_img read more