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Today in Kempt News...

  • Kempt Staff

We’d like to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to remind you that the printed word is still alive and well—and to congratulate one of our own. Shawn Donnelly, our resident sports guru (especially on the matter of European soccer) can now add “published author” to his already gleaming resume of “Kempt contributor” and “all-around stand-up guy,” among other things.

His newly released book, Go Get That Scholarship!, written with Nate Mast, the director of basketball operations at Southern Illinois University, is a guide for high schoolers looking for a shot at playing college ball (also: a good stocking stuffer for the Hoosiers fanatic in your life). Of the book’s many nuggets of wisdom, our favorite is one from Kansas coach Bill Self, who explains why he doesn’t want to scout a player on his best day, but rather on a day when the cards aren’t falling his way. It’s a test of character that any modern man can take to heart.

Read the excerpt on Bill Self’s recruiting philosophy from Go Get That Scholarship!.

In fact, Kansas head coach Bill Self has told me that he actually wants to see a high school kid not when he’s having the best game of his life, but rather when he’s having the worst game of his life. He wants to see how you respond when things aren’t going your way. When you’re not getting the calls, when your teammates are blowing layups, when your shots aren’t falling, when your team’s down by 15 and the fans are yelling expletives at you. What do you do in that moment? How do you react? Do you still play hard, still fight, still believe? Do you still play tough defense, get important rebounds and drive to the basket to get on the free-throw line? Do you wilt under the pressure, or do you grit your teeth, dig deeper and take your game to another level? How you respond to adversity is going to say a lot more about what type of player you are than what you do when you’re coasting along with a 20-point lead. Bad times reveal a lot more about character than good times. That’s when you really get to see what a guy is made of.

So if a coach comes to watch you play, and you start out 0-for-6 and your team’s down by 15, just think, “I got the coach right where I want him.”