Launching a different shot
Former MHS standout Kerns ready for life after the game
BY TODD MURRAY The Dominion Post

Dustin Kerns spent part of his Memorial Day holiday with friend and former Morgantown High basketball teammate Tyler Benson.
The topic of conversation eventually turned, as it always did, to basketball.
Only this time, the longtime pals weren’t talking about their basketball future, they were talking about their basketball past.
Kerns played his final game at Division III Lebanon Valley (Pa.) College, in February, and Benson wrapped up his career at St. Bonaventure, in March.
To Kerns and Benson, it seemed as if they had only recently finished their prep careers at MHS. Now, their competitive basketball days are over.
“We couldn’t believe how quickly things went by,” Kerns said.
Kerns is moving on to the next stage of his life. He graduated this past Saturday with a 3.93 GPA in his double major of international business and accounting, with minors in Spanish and political science.
He leaves Sunday for Dublin, Ireland, where he’ll spend the summer traveling and working before moving to Denver in October for an auditor’s position with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Kerns doesn’t know how much time he’ll have to pick up a basketball again anytime soon.
He’s already wondering how he’s going to fill that void in his life.
“It’s tough now without that competitive outlet,” Kerns said. “We used to have little volleyball tournaments and softball tournaments at school. If we lose, I’m mad for the rest of the day. That competitive desire is never going to leave you.”
Kerns’ competitive drive on the court in practices and games led to LVC coach Brad McAlester calling Kerns “one of my favorite kids I’ve had in 15 years here.”
LVC listed the 6-foot-1 Kerns as a guard on the roster, but Kerns was a jack-of-all-trades player for the Annville, Pa., school. It wasn’t unusual to find Kerns guarding the opposition’s power forward.
“We were kind of thin in the post positions,” said Kerns, who averaged 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds this season. “I played point guard when I first came in. I really played everywhere on the court throughout my career.”
Kerns never questioned McAlester. He simply did his job for the good of the team, making seven starts and averaging 20.9 minutes per game this season.
“He wasn’t the most talented, athletic player; he just worked and supported everybody,” McAlester said. “When he wasn’t in the game, he was a cheerleader on the bench.
“In practices and games, he was one of the toughest kids I’ve had here in 15 years. He worked hard and was not afraid to go against anybody and rebound and play physical.”
Kerns emerged as a leader for the Dutchmen on and off the court, following the lead of the upperclassmen who had influenced him as a freshman.
“I remember talking to my parents about how they were such great influences and how their leaving was going to be tough,” said Kerns, who attended LVC on an academic scholarship. “They let me know that one day I was going to be that guy that everybody looked up to.
“It was great advice from them. It’s something I really tried to do as I got older — to be there for them and help them adjust.”
He hopes that — more than anything he did on the court — will be his legacy at Lebanon Valley.
“Once the career is over and people look back, they don’t remember individual games and stats as much as they remember the way people acted and conducted themselves on the court,” Kerns said.
McAlester is glad he recruited Kerns after seeing him play for the first time in a summer camp before his senior year at MHS, in 2005.
“He’s a fun kid to be around and have on your side,” McAlester said. “He’s one of those kids I’d do anything for. At some point, it was like he was one of my own. His parents were so far away, I watched over him a little bit more than most. He’s one of those kids who always figures it out. He’s a step ahead of everybody else. He was a real pleasure to coach.”

Photo courtesy of Lebanon Valley College Dustin Kerns averaged 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds as a senior.