Put In The Time
‘There Isn’t Anyone Who Works Harder Or Deserves It More’
As the story goes, former Post-Journal sports editor Jim Riggs paid a visit to Jamestown Community College men’s basketball coach Ken Carrillo at the latter’s campus office in October 1992.
Upon Riggs’ arrival, a young man by the name of Kevin Hind was leaving.
Although a returning member of the Jayhawks’ team, he wasn’t sure if he was going to play his sophomore season. Carrillo had 19 players on the roster and Hind, who averaged 2.6 points per game as a freshman, didn’t figure there was a place for him.
Besides that, the Frewsburg native was a really good baseball player, and Carrillo thought concentrating on the diamond was in Hind’s best interest.
But a funny thing happened on the way to grab his spikes and glove — the hoops team’s numbers fell to eight and the season was just weeks away.
“Guys dropped out and I kept coming (to practice),” Hind told Riggs. “I told my mom, ‘I really want to play; I miss it, I really want to play basketball again.'”
As it turned out, Hind’s return to the hardwood paid big dividends for the Jayhawks that season. And, even though nobody could possibly have predicted it at the time, it turned out to be the best thing for Randolph Central School’s boys basketball team years later.
Saturday evening at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls confirmed it.
After Hind graduated from Jamestown CC, he finished his college and basketball career at SUNY Brockport. In 1997, he coached in the summer basketball league for then-Jamestown High School coach Ron Frederes. It was during that time that Hind became acquainted with Pat Slater, who was then coaching the Randolph basketball team. By August — and apparently with a good recommendation from Slater — Hind received a phone call from the superintendent’s secretary asking him if he’d like to come in for an interview for an elementary teaching position.
“I remember at home jumping up and down on our dining room table,” Hind told me four years ago
He ultimately got the teaching job and became Slater’s jayvee coach for the 1997-98 season when the Cardinals’ varsity team won a Section VI championship by rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to down Portville in the title game.
As the 1998-99 season was about to start, Hind was planning to remain at the jayvee level, but Slater announced he was resigning a week before the season opener.
The program was suddenly Hind’s.
Since then, he has claimed eight Section VI championships, won 381 games and made a trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four in 2004.
Hind hadn’t returned to the North Country until this past weekend.
It was worth the trip this time.
On Saturday morning, Jamestown boys coach Ben Drake posted a Tweet that reads as follows:
“So proud of Coach Kevin Hind and @cardshoops1!” said Drake, who has been a close friend of Hind’s for years. “There isn’t anyone who works harder or deserves it more! Coach Hind is one of the best coaches u will find anywhere in HS basketball!! Passionate, knows the game, team is always prepared, does everything the right way.”
By early evening and behind eight 3-pointers from senior Jaiden Huntington, the Cardinals held off Haldane 58-55 to capture their first boys state crown in school history.
Fittingly, when the final horn sounded, Hind was one of the first to rush the court in celebration. The married father of two — Tyler and Drew are both outstanding basketball talents — almost immediately found himself at the bottom of a pile of his players.
No word yet if he did a little jig on his dining room table upon his return home.
Hind might, however, have been tempted to reach out to Carrillo.
More than 30 years after their office chat, Hind’s decision to return to the hardwood was one of the best he’s ever made.