Time Out by John Bernhardt

Time Out: Dec. 30, 2009

by John Bernhardt
Former late night talk show king, Johnny Carson, understood the importance of preparation. “Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is, ‘Are you ready?’ counseled Carson when advising young comedians about the road to success.


Time Out: August 12, 2009

University of Rochester men’s basketball coach Mike Neer feels success is all about developing good habits. Talking to 60 or more young basketball enthusiasts, including Andes guards Eric Reid and Sage Beemer, Neer opened and closed his Big Man/Point Guard Clinic talking about habits. According to the U of R mentor, successful play on the hardwoods is all about the development of good habits. “Invest in good habits. It’s not about the sneakers, not the shorts, not the dunks, not the threes, it’s the good habits you develop that make the difference,” implored Neer at the start of the clinic.


Time Out: August 5, 2009

The Avoca Summer Classic is my favorite off-season basketball venue. This three-on-three tournament gem is the highlight of a packed spring and summer basketball schedule for my Andes boys’ basketball team. In its eighth year this summer, the Avoca Classic is a full day of competitive basketball and small town community fun.


Time Out: July 29, 2009

“How are your guys doing?”
The question was directed my way by Houghton College men’s basketball coach Brad Zarges. Flawlessly playing the role of host, Zarges was eager to learn how the Andes team was doing at the Houghton Team Basketball Camp. Knowing Andes was a late fill-in replacement team and by far the smallest of 16 boys’ teams at the camp, Zarges wanted to be sure things were going well.


Time Out: July 15, 2009

The worldwide obsession with the passing of Michael Jackson devoured many of us during the past two weeks. No matter where you turned, the glare of the media lights were focused on everything Jackson. Speculation about how Jackson died and endless commentary concerning issues that marred his life made watching television or reading a newspaper almost painful.


Time Out: July 8, 2009

by John Bernhardt
He never opened his mouth but his message could not have been clearer. A condescending smile crossed his face, he closed his eyes and slowly shook his head back and forth when he saw me moving along the walkway.


Time Out! by John Bernhardt: April 15, 2009

by John Bernhardt
“Don’t say it!” warned Randy VanKeuren when center fielder Garret Fairbairn began to tell his parents on the sidelines Thursday that Margaretville pitcher Patrick O’Connell had not allowed a single Windham runner to reach first base. Unaware of the baseball lore that claims you never talk about a pending no-hitter, Fairbairn failed to heed VanKeuren’s warning and blurted out the news anyway.


Time Out: March 25, 2009

Gone was the poker face, that solemn look that rarely changes. Gone was the measured calm, the balanced model of self-control basketball enthusiasts from around the county have come to appreciate. Gone was the cautiousness, that unassuming demeanor, that humble outlook that would make you believe his team was light years behind when, in fact, they were on the cusp of becoming the first boys’ basketball team in Section IV history to become state champions.


Time Out: August 20, 2008

“Your son will never be able to focus on anything,” a teacher once advised Debbie Phelps during a parent/teacher conference. Phelps and her record-setting Olympic son still laugh about a middle schoolteacher who stated with assurance that Michael would never be a success.


Time Out: August 13, 2008

“I think we’ve found it. I can see basketballs in the air.”
Looking from a distance it looked like a carnival or circus, the sky peppered with multi-colored basketballs. Moving the car closer, the scene came more clearly into focus. A section of Main Street in Avoca had been blocked off and eight outdoor basketball courts stood in a single line. After a long journey a group of young basketball enthusiasts from Andes had arrived to participate in the Avoca Summer Classic.


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