By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Clark Kellogg feels there are three ways that people know him.
One generation remembers him as a basketball player at Ohio State University and for the Indiana Pacers.
Another one knows him as a college basketball television analyst for CBS.
One more, mainly the younger generation, knows him as the voice of the NBA 2K10 video game.
“That is what I do, not who I am,” he told the crowd at the 22nd Annual Community Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast Friday morning at Elkhart Memorial High School. “Basketball is seasonal, not year round. Once the NCAA champion is crowned in April and I do my postgame interview I put basketball aside until after Labor Day. I don’t have a Top 25 or even a Top Three right now, but once September comes I’ll be locked and loaded.”
Kellogg was introduced at the breakfast by former area radio personality and current Vice President-Regional Manager at Mutual Bank Vince Turner.
“This heathen once slayed our innocent children in Bloomington,” he quipped referring to Kellogg’s playing days at Ohio State and wins over the Indiana Hoosiers.
“The Bible brought us Daniel out of the lion’s den, Jonah out of Nineveh and now it has brought us Clark out of Columbus.”
Kellogg responded by saying, “I wasn’t expecting such a humorous introduction. Vince really has a flair for the dramatic.
“It’s good to be here this morning. I once heard a Baptist minister say he was glad to be where ever he was.”
Kellogg talked about some of the previous speakers at the breakfast. Names such as Mike Singletary, Tim Brown and Ray Tolbert just to mention a few.
“They are all great speakers, but I’m wondering did they all take the allotted 40 minutes to speak? Today we are going to get in under the shot clock,” he said in reference to the warm and humid conditions in the Memorial Field House.
The third of three knee surgeries in 1986 ended his playing days and changed his life in more ways than that.
“I grew up in a home in Cleveland where we acknowledged God’s existence and that was about it,” Kellogg said. “I went to church about five to seven times in my childhood and that was usually on special days like Mother’s Day. It was a good childhood with my four sisters. Dad was a police officer and mom was a domestic engineer. She was able to stay home until the time I was a freshman in high school. I also had aunts and uncles around plus all four of my grandparents until I was an adult.”
Kellogg and his wife Rosy began to get the feeling something was missing in their lives.
“I had knee surgeries in 1984, 1985 and 1986,” he said. “During my rehab after the third surgery a local minister began coming to the Pacers’ games to have chapel for anyone that wanted to attend. I had no real spiritual background, but along the journey began to wonder if God had a purpose for my life.
“My wife realized first that something was missing. She started to slowly probe, pry and nag me. I can say nag since she is not here today. If she were here I would use the word nudge. Hopefully that will not go beyond this room.
“Things all started to come together. The Bible says were are spiritual beings. After dodging the minister we started talking and he began to unfold the Word of God.”
According to Kellogg the Word of God convinced him to change his life.
“The Word was giving us something, but we were hungering for more,” he said. “God has purpose for your life. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. That is separation from God. But in Christ we have new life. So in November of 1986 my wife and I acknowledged God as our Savior.
“The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short yet there is a reconciliation in Jesus. Anyone who comes to Christ becomes a new person. Each one of us has a place in our heart that only Christ can fill. My journey of faith is coming up on 27 years.”
Kellogg attended St. Joseph High School in Cleveland. Among the highlights of his prep days was a 79-65 loss to Columbus East where he scored 51 points and grabbed 24 rebounds. He was a McDonald’s All-American.
Kellogg went on the play at Ohio State from 1979-82 and earned All-Big Ten Conference and Most Valuable Player honors in 1982. He left after his junior year to enter the NBA draft and was selected in the first round (eighth overall pick) by the Indiana Pacers. He appeared headed for a promising pro career when he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team after becoming one of a handful of players to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in their first season. However, his chronic knee problems ended his career after just three full and two partial seasons.
Kellogg served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN from 1990-97. He joined CBS Sports in 1997 and replaced Billy Packer as the network’s lead college basketball announcer in the 2008-09 season and called his first NCAA Final Four in 2009 with Jim Nantz.
During the 2012 NCAA tournament broadcast, the Ohio University Bobcats, for whom Kellogg’s son Nick was playing, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen at the same time Kellogg was calling the Lehigh-Xavier game in Greensboro, North Carolina. The announcer said, “Way to go Bobcats!” during the telecast.
“You did what any father would have done,” Turner said.
Kellogg, who remains a basketball analyst for CBS, is also the Vice President of Player of Relations for the Indiana Pacers.
“My wife and I have been married for 30 years and she told me after I took the job with the Pacers it was the first time in our marriage I had a real job,” he said. “In a way she is right. It’s kind of hard to call playing basketball and broadcasting basketball games work.”