Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 21, 2013

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT: Kellogg dishes on hoop topics

By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS

ELKHART — Basketball has played a prominent role in Clark Kellogg’s life.

During his playing days he was an Ohio State Buckeye and an Indiana Pacer. Since chronic knee problems forced him into an early retirement he has been a basketball analyst, first at ESPN and now CBS.

“Basketball has been my life’s dream,” Kellogg said after addressing the crowd Friday morning at the 22nd Annual Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast at Elkhart Memorial High School. “At age nine or 10 I fell in love with the game.”

Basketball wasn’t his first choice of sports.

“Football was my game of choice until I grew out of it,” the 6-7 Kellogg said. “Basketball became the driving force in my life. On the playgrounds I seemed to have a natural attitude for it.

“The sport also became a way for my parents to keep me in line. If there was ever any hint about me getting out of line all my folks had to do was mention taking away basketball to get me back on the straight and narrow.”

Kellogg, the lead basketball announcer for CBS since 2008-09, shared his thoughts on Notre Dame’s move from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Knowing Coach (Mike) Brey and how he gets the maximum out of his players I’m confident Notre Dame will do well in the ACC,” he said. “The Big East is tough so I think the Irish will do just fine in the ACC.”

The 52-year-old also expressed his thoughts on all the conference realignments that are going on.

“The conference realignments are driven by economics,” he said. “Change is hard to accept, but it’s not the end of the world. Conference realignments have been going on for quite some time. It might be time, however, to start looking at how some of these things are governed.”

The Indiana Hoosiers finished 29-7 (14-4 Big Ten) last season. The Hoosiers lost two key players to the NBA as Victor Oladipo was the second overall selection by the Orlando Magic and Cody Zeller the fourth by the Charlotte Bobcats.

“The two of them are some pretty big losses, but don’t worry Indiana basketball is back and the Hoosiers are going to stay in the mix,” Kellogg said. “One of the things that has gotten the Hoosiers back in the mix of college basketball is (coach) Tom Crean realizing the importance of keeping some of the best players in your state at home. You are not going to get all of them, but you have to get some.”

Kellogg was also asked about the move by Butler coach Brad Stephens to the Boston Celtics of the NBA.

“It’s a tremendous loss for college basketball,” he said. “He is a faith-based coach who shares his values with his players. I think that will serve him well at the next level.”

In addition to his television work, Kellogg is the vice president of player relations for the Indiana Pacers. He was asked about Larry Bird’s recent return to the team’s front office.

“I’m glad that Larry is feeling better and he is back with the Pacers,” Kellogg said.

The Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA Playoffs this past season without one of their better players in Danny Granger. Indiana took the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat to a seventh game before being eliminated.

Granger, a 30-year-old 6-8 forward, is trying to come back from a knee injury.

“The Pacers are certainly hoping Danny can return, but he isn’t there yet,” Kellogg said. “The Pacers have a strong nucleus and are headed in the right direction. But other teams in the Eastern Conference will be better. Derrick Rose should be back with the Chicago Bulls.”