CBS College Basketball Analyst, and former NBA player and executive for the Indiana Pacers, Clark Kellogg, spoke with host Michael Redd about his time in the league, his dedication to a career as a top TV sports broadcaster, and how his faith has played a role in his success.
Don’t be afraid of the work, or the time it might take to hone your craft. Sports – basketball in particular – taught me some of those things as I transitioned from being on the court, and between the lines, to being courtside with a microphone.” – Clark Kellogg
The former pro basketball player declared for the NBA draft after his junior year of college and was a high 1st round pick for the Indiana Pacers. He made the NBA All-Rookie Team his first year in the league and played four seasons before moving into broadcasting.
The national media personality is best known for his 25 years of work as a lead college basketball commentator for CBS Sports. Clark also appears in the popular NBA video game as an analyst for the NBA2K franchise.
Clark was elected to the Ohio State University Board of Trustees. He also serves as a Board Chair for First Merchants Corporation and First Merchants Bank. Clark served as an Ohio Region Advisory Board member for First Merchants in the Columbus, Ohio area since 2001.
If you’re a fan of the show don’t forget to Subscribe to see new episodes, and Rate or Review us wherever you tune in!
In this episode Michael and Clark talked about:
- How basketball and family were Clark’s North Star early on
- Opportunities that arose after injuries forced him to retire from the NBA
- The importance of mentors on the path to greatness
- What it felt like to announce at his first NCAA Final Four
- How Clark got to interview (and play) POTUS with Obama
- Humility as a pillar for handling success
- Going on the record for GOAT in hoops and golf
- And more!
Clark Kellogg: And then get to work. Don't be afraid of the work and don't be afraid of the time it might take you to hone your craft. Embrace all of that. I think sports, basketball in particular taught me some of those things as I moved forward and transitioned from being on the court and between the lines, to being courtside with the microphone.
Michael Redd: Hey everybody, this is Michael red and welcome to the Betting On Yourself Podcast, where I interview successful entrepreneurs, athletes and other top performers who rose to the top, took success into their own hands and bet on themselves. Clark Kellogg and I go back a long way. We've known each other since I was 18 years old at Ohio State, and share a lot of the same values and perspectives on life. He's a great man and mentor to me, and this episode has been a long time in the making. In 1982, he was the first round pick for the Indiana Pacers and played four years in the NBA before turning his attention to broadcasting, and has enjoyed a hugely successful career over the last 30 years with numerous accolades as one of the top analysts in college and professional basketball for ESPN and CBS.
Michael Redd: He is proof that when you dedicate yourself to consistently learning and embrace positive reinforcement with a humble heart, you can have the faith to see beyond your present and find success. Hear his amazing journey and see why he's such a blessing to me on this latest episode of Betting on Yourself. Hey, this is one I've been waiting for because for the listeners out there, Clark is a big brother, mentor, golfing partner, you name it. Known each other for the last, I don't know, 20-plus years. He has been a great, great friend since I was 17, 18 years old going to Ohio State, and so this is history right here on this cast today. How you doing first of all?
Clark Kellogg: I'm great Michael. Great to be with you, man, and I'm looking forward to the conversation. But we're doing well all things considered. We're healthy and safe as a family, and thankful. Trying to live life well by treating people right and doing what would hopefully make God smile, man, so we're in good order.
Michael Redd: For anybody who knows Clark, Clark's going to always have a beautiful smile and perspective on life. We both share the same core values of life. We'll get into that in a little bit in the conversation but let me just ask you, you know the theme of the show. Your journey is well documented, amazing story and I want to get your perspective on what it means to bet on yourself.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, that's a great topic to delve into. For me it's fairly simple. Michael, for me it goes back to how I was raised by my dad and mom. Both are deceased now, but really betting on yourself is having a confidence and a hope in things working out well, as long as you do your part to be your best. For me, it started with hoops in terms of what became my passion and my driving force early on back when I was nine or 10 years old. My dad was involved in sports and encouraged me and my younger brother and sisters to enjoy sports and involve ourselves in sports.
Clark Kellogg: I took a liking to hoops right away, and really basketball was my North Star in terms of directing me towards something positive and constructive. Once I grabbed hold of that with the support and encouragement of my folks and the affirmation and reinforcement that came along after I started to show some promise, it really anchored me to trying to do well in the classroom and how I carry myself as an individual. But it started with the support and love and environment I had at home. Then once I moved into basketball as my passion and North Star, then it became a matter of wanting to do well and be good at what I was doing.
Michael Redd: Was basketball the only sport that you played or that you were good at?
Clark Kellogg: I started in football, Michael. Actually, my dad was a policeman in Cleveland for over 40 years and one of my first experiences in organized sports of any kind was with him coaching for the Police Athletic League. Maybe some of your listeners might not be familiar with that organization. It was called PAL, Police Athletically League. Officers in the communities of Cleveland and across the country would engage with the community coaching sports, and my dad happened to be one along with a couple of his partners that coached me in peewee football and basketball.
Clark Kellogg: So football was my first love, but it didn't take too long for me to realize I didn't enjoy intentional collisions, which you have to enjoy contact and intentional collisions to embrace football and that just wasn't me so I gravitated to basketball early, and really was a one sports guy. I enjoyed other sports, but never really had any passion around playing any other sports; baseball, tennis, track and field. No, I really locked into hoops and that's typically what I would be doing in my spare time, either playing the game or reading about it, or watching it.
Michael Redd: Looking at your golf swing, you would think that you've been playing since you were three-years-old.
Clark Kellogg: You're generous man. You and I both have been working at trying to navigate that little small sphere. It's a fun thing to wrestle with. I've been working on it, trying to get better, trying to keep up with you and Mike Conley and others that we play with. But, I've really enjoyed my relationship with golf over the last 30 years now and hoping to play for another 20 at a decent level.
Michael Redd: I was with you when you shift it to the one-hand putter. We were playing at McDonald's. This was about 15 years ago, 15 to 17 years ago and you were frustrated.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, somewhere in that that neighborhood.
Michael Redd: Yeah, you were frustrated because you couldn't ... For those who play with Clark and know Clark as a golfer, I was there that date when he shifted to the one-hand putter. From that point on, you've been putting one hand, which is a big risk.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, it is a bit of a risk but for me, it was actually quite helpful because my left hand on the putter ... I'm a right-handed player, right-handed putter, and my left hand when I had both hands on the putter was just giving me too many problems pulling putts, in other words, hitting them to the left. That was terribly frustrating, so I had a practice round or a practice session after a round and started putting one-handed. Not sure why I did it, but it felt good and the next time I played, which you happen to be part of our foursome I was putting one-handed and I've not put my left hand on it since other than to take it out of my bag or to put it back in my bag, that's it. That's the only time my putter is touched by my left hand.
Michael Redd: You have lived a life of a trailblazer. You're known to tread new ground, whether it be in golf, whether it be in broadcasting. Take us back to maybe before St. Joe's or St. Joseph, or even Ohio State. Is there a pivotal moment in your life that you took a huge risk on yourself?
Clark Kellogg: Wow. You know, there was a time when I had to give up playing basketball Mike, when I had to retire. I got drafted by the Indiana Pacers back in 1982. I was a high first-round draft pick by the Pacers and had a promising NBA pro career ascending and moving forward, and knee injuries, and a knee injury ultimately ended my career. I was drafted at 21 and by the time I had turned 26, I was done playing in the NBA because of my knee injury. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do then. I loved business, I had been fortunate to have a mentor in the insurance business in Cleveland who befriended me when I was in high school. We still are friends to this day.
Clark Kellogg: He taught me an awful lot about business and life, and the insurance business in particular so I thought I might go in that direction when my playing career ended. But as I thought about it and even prayed about it, basketball is what I had known was what I knew most and best at that time. So I got an opportunity with the Pacers to consider being part of the radio announcing team for Pacer games, and I stepped into that. Basketball was familiar, this area was not though, broadcasting. I was always a student of the game, I enjoyed listening to commentators, I enjoyed reading about the game and studying it. Fancied myself a cerebral player, a good player, but this was new territory for me to have the microphone in front of me from the standpoint of talking about the game and analyzing it for other listeners.
Clark Kellogg: I had obviously had a microphone in front of me as a player. I was often a team spokesman or someone the media would seek out after games or before games for comments. I had handled that side of it, but now stepping into analyzing the game for the listening audience was new, and yet I was confident I could do it, even though I didn't know what all it would take. I thought I had enough knowledge and enough of a work ethic to be good at it if I applied myself, and that's how I pursued it. That's 30-plus years ago now. That was 1987 when I started doing Pacers Radio.
Clark Kellogg: Since then, I've gone on to do Pacer Television and I did some college games on television on the local and regional level before, some time at ESPN. And for the last 25 years, I've been at CBS as one of the league common taters for college hoops, so yeah. That was a little scary just because it was territory I wasn't familiar with. I stepped into it though, because of the confidence I had gained from succeeding as a player. That can be transferable even when you go into areas that may not be familiar or comfortable. You have a sense of, I've achieved something in one area with hard work and being a student of it, and those same things can hopefully help me do this next thing well.
Michael Redd: And you've done it well.
Clark Kellogg: Thank you, thank you.
Michael Redd: Yeah, you have. I mean, when you think of college basketball you think of Clark Kellogg. I'm biased, but that's just what it is.
Clark Kellogg: You might be a little bit. Yeah, you might be a little bit.
Michael Redd: I am, I'm biased. [inaudible 00:11:51] and different other ones, but I mean, you're the face of the Final Four for so many years. I'm going to get back to that in a little bit, but back to your playing career. For the younger audience out there, Clark was an incredible basketball player. And I believe what I've been told by you and others, was one of the first point forwards to play the game. Obviously you have Bob McAdoos and different other ones, big men who could play and hand the basketball, but you were like a point forward when you play, which was new at that time.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, it was. You know what? Back in the late 70s, Magic Johnson obviously came along. Graduated high school in '78, so he was really the first true 6'8", 6'9" point guard that I had seen in my time playing and I was more of a forward that could handle the ball. But, my dad once I started playing hoops really impressed upon me the importance of being able to dribble the ball no matter how tall I would get. Because in his day, growing up in the mid late 50s, big guys then were 6'4" or taller. There were very few that handled the ball. Oscar Robertson was an exception. He was of my dad's era and age. Elgin Baylor was another, but there weren't a lot of guys north of 6'4" or five that were really good ball handlers.
Clark Kellogg: So, my dad ingrained that in me that, ""Make sure you can handle the ball," and so I always worked at being able to dribble and maneuver with the ball. It served me well as I grew and became a 6'8" guy that could rebound and pass and score, but also could handle the ball and that was a real asset. It's not as uncommon now as it once was. I mean, it's 13 to a dozen big guys now they can put it on the floor. When I was coming along, we might've had four or five guys to a dozen that were of size that could handle it. So, I was a little bit of a precursor to what we see that is common now in big guys being skilled handling the ball.
Michael Redd: You had an incredible career at Ohio State, you get drafted to the Pacers. Your career is like you said, cut short because of knee injuries and whatnot. You mentioned something that I think is very powerful though. You said even in that moment of transition, you were scared. It was a scary place, but there was something internally within you that still engaged that fear and said, "You know what? Although I've never done this before, I feel like I have the confidence to do it." Tell me about that mindset, and then we'll talk a little bit about identity as well.
Clark Kellogg: You know, that mindset I think is born of having achieved in playing basketball, and you can relate to this. I think anybody that's played a sport or who has excelled in some area of their own lives can testify to the confidence you gain from mastering something. Whether it's a sport, whether it's an occupation, whether it's a particular skill, particularly if it's reinforced in a positive way in terms of your own personal identity. I mean, when you excel in sports, there is a feeling of satisfaction, but there's also some adulation that comes from other folks. There is great support and encouragement that comes from other folks, and that fuels the fire to want to continue to excel and to do well. Basketball for me was not only a game that I enjoyed, but I began to see it as a possibility, as a pathway to an education, to perhaps a life of needs being met. And so, it became more than just a game and as I excelled in it, it gave me confidence.
Clark Kellogg: Then that leads to doing well in school and understanding that there's some universal principles of self-initiative, being coachable, working at what you're doing, learning from others. All of those things have application outside of the realm of sports. So being able to get to the highest level in basketball, I mean, the NBA or professional basketball is really the apex when you're playing that game. When you have a chance to get to that point, then you've distinguished yourself and that gives you a feeling of not only accomplishment, but also some confidence because of what you've had to go through to get to that point. The competitiveness that exists in that space and you're able to show and have shown that you've navigated that. And you know it's not all you, but you do know you've played a part in your journey and your success.
Clark Kellogg: When you have that template, what I found was that it was useful as I stepped into broadcasting, that, "Hey, I know this is uncharted territory. I'm a rookie in this space, but the same things that I did to grow as a basketball player can be applied here. Be a student, seek out those who are more experienced and do it well. Ask them, what are some of their secrets? What were some of their struggles? And then get to work. Don't be afraid of the work and don't be afraid of the time it might take you to hone your craft. Embrace all of that." So I think sports, basketball in particular taught me some of those things as I move forward and transitioned from being on the court and between the lines, to being courtside with a microphone.
Michael Redd: I think it's so powerful because most athletes attribute what they do as to who they are, and you were able to prove and show that, "I'm not just a ball player. That's what I did, but there's more to me than just playing ball," and I appreciate it. You've shown that over the years. Talk about that, that diversity that's within you.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah. You know, some of that goes back to my parents quite honestly. Clearly basketball was central and singular in my life. It really was, from the standpoint of how much time and attention I gave to it and what it's afforded me in my life. But early on, I always was mindful that at some point it would end. My parents made sure I was keeping that uppermost in mind as connected with other former athletes and other people in my circle of influence. They would drive home that point that basketball is wonderful, but this is not the essence of who you are and at some point, you won't be able to play at this level, whether it's due to an injury or just the passing of time.
Clark Kellogg: So, I always was encouraged to think beyond just playing. It was a gift. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity, but I always saw my life being more than that and I credit my folks for helping me to at least be thinking about that at 18, 19, 20. Then I had other people come alongside me, my mentor who I mentioned, Ira Novak, and then other folks I met during my time at Ohio State. Then realizing that at some point ... The guys that I admired Michael, were those who had made the transition successfully from playing, to continue to be successful and productive in their lives after the game. I looked at folks like that and said, "That's where I want to be. I know basketball is a big part of it, but I want to be smart, I want to be educated, I want to be a difference maker."
Clark Kellogg: And quite honestly Michael, some of it I don't know where it came from at an early age. Again, a lot of it was my folks and how they tried to help me see the world. Some of it was the other people that came alongside me. I know now because of my faith in God through Christ that God plants those seeds of destiny and purpose in our hearts to see beyond what we do and to attach our identity and have it grounded in who God says we are. But even before coming to faith in Christ, I just felt as though there was more to me than just playing the game. I didn't want to be seen as just a really good basketball player. I wanted to be somebody who was well respected, that was well thought of, that was educated and I was willing to try to make that happen to the degree that I understood it at that time.
Michael Redd: From a broadcasting standpoint, who were some of the people that you gleaned from to help you along the journey?
Clark Kellogg: Man, all of my initial early partners. All of my play-by-play partners would get from me questions about how to really be good long term in this. A gentleman by the name of Fred White. [Denny Shriner 00:21:36] was my first partner at Cleveland State University doing Cleveland State University games. Bob Carpenter was at ESPN when I was there. Tim Brando, who continues to do work for Fox and has been in the business forever. He was one of my early partners and has been in the business a really long time, and all of them. Ron Franklin was at ESPN. I had so many outstanding partners, and I would really pick their brains, Michael.
Clark Kellogg: I would ask them, "How do I become excellent as an analyst? What will be important for me to not only be excellent, but to have longevity and excellence?" Then commentators that do what I do, analysts. I always enjoy listening to Doug Collins, and Hubie Brown, the late Steve Jones when he was calling NBA games for NBC. James Brown, a colleague at CBS and a terrific not only studio host, but he's extremely versatile as an announcer, and a black man as well. Being able to see how he navigated his role towards excellence. Those are some of the names, but I've got a folder full of names of all of my former partners and some of the folks, but those are some that come to mind.
Clark Kellogg: But, I always sought to be inquisitive about, "How do I get better? What am I doing well? What do I need to perhaps change?" And I was fortunate, I had a number of folks offer me really good, helpful counsel. Then showed me through their own work ethic and excellence how to not only do the job well, but actually be a good partner for the people that I would be working with. So, I'm unfortunately, man. I had a lot of good folks. And you know, one of the things I found Michael was that when people know you care about what you're doing and that you're serious about trying to grow and learn and get better, they're really eager to help you.
Clark Kellogg: I found that to be true in my own journey as I've become a seasoned broadcaster, the number of folks that have reached out to me, younger in their journeys and careers, asking me for pointers or counsel or advice, and I'm excited to provide that to them. I think anyone that's a mentor, or a teacher, or an advisor loves an eager student. When you show that eagerness to want to get better, people that can help you do that are eager to help you do it. I've seen it on both sides and have had a lot of really good folks help me in my journey towards where I am now.
Michael Redd: Yeah, you've esteemed a lot of the people that have helped you along the way. How important is that, to be able to have that village grow you and have mentors in your life?
Clark Kellogg: It's essential, man. I don't know how you get the most out of what God gives you without it. We need each other. We're created to be in community, in relationship, in accountable relationships where we have those that we're accountable to, and those that we're accountable for. I think it's a 360 degree type of dea, God's design that we be in community with other folks. And to have people that know a little more than you do, and are willing to offer that to you in your quest to grow and be the best you can be, it's essential. I mean, I think you can navigate and have some level of success and fulfillment going solo, but it's most likely not going to last and not going to be optimized or maximized if you're not availing yourself to other folks for your own growth and improvement, because none of us have all the answers. We all need other people to be our best, and to hopefully offer the best of us to other folks.
Michael Redd: How has faith been for you in your journey? I know you're a man of conviction, resolve, full of integrity. How has faith played a part in your journey?
Clark Kellogg: Well, for me Michael, it's actually the pillar and foundation of my identity and my journey from the time in 1986 when I came to a place of giving my heart and life to God through faith in Christ. Until then, I think basketball had taken the throne and been the center of my existence. I saw it as a means to an end, but it still really controlled my attitude and how I looked at how I looked at the world, whereas faith when it became central and singular in late 1986, it foundations and permeates every aspect of who I am and what I seek to be in conduct and inward. So, it's critical. Like I said, it's the foundation and pillar.
Clark Kellogg: It wasn't As much through my journeying years. There was a confidence that I had in my own ability, not recognizing the goodness and grace of God at that time. But by the time I turned 25 and before I retired from the Pacers, I had had a shift in my worldview. Now it was God and Christ on the center, and Clark seeking to align himself with the truth of God's Word and allowing that to be what dictates who I am, my identity and as a result, how I act and who I'm becoming. So, faith is the anchor and foundation for me since 1986. So, we're coming up on 34 years, man, since I've been journeying with faith as my rock and my foundation through the person of Jesus Christ.
Michael Redd: I love that man, and I'd be remiss to not mention whenever describing Clark Kellogg, his family. I know how important Rosy, and Alex, and Nick and Talisa are to you. Talk about over the years with being in demand during the season, the balance between being that husband and that father, and also obligated to doing what you were doing.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah. That's a constant source of tension in regards to what is required of a former professional athlete and then a broadcaster who's visible and who travels for his work. But Rosy and I have been together. We just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary in July. We dated the three years that I was in college before I left to go to the NBA, so we've been together for 40 years and she's been an absolute rock. I know that I'm not the man I am without her. In relationship, there's a give and take that's required and usually for men, the give is a little harder to get to because our natures are to subdue and conquer and rule, and oftentimes we're not quite as concerned about collateral damage that we might create in our own selfish, focused way.
Clark Kellogg: A partner who loves you unconditionally, who enhances you but also holds you accountable, who teaches you through her sacrifice and her giving nature what that should look like in the dynamics of a relationship first with her, but also in a relationship with your children at home, it begins to help you grow up. So, the gift of my wife is extremely cherished and more and more appreciated as time goes on, and then the gift of our children to us has certainly been most special and cherished. But, you learn and grow into that. During the course of growing in my new career as a player, obviously I was done playing when our kids were born. But they've seen me traveling and on the road, and as many of their events as I can be, but missing some too because of the nature and demands of work, and yet still trying to have a consistent presence. And not only a consistent presence, but a consistent persona in my interactions with Rosy, their mom, and them as children so that they get to know and see me, flaws and all.
Clark Kellogg: It's been an unbelievable journey, man, but I tip my hat and my heart to my bride. A lot of times early in my broadcasting career when the kids were younger, she was a single parent for months at a time. I would helicopter in and be on the road 16, 17 days a month during the basketball season, sometimes more. Then we would seek to recapture time during the off season. It took me a while to even get better at that because of demands and expectations others would place on me and I would place on myself outside of the home and that is an area that takes time to balance and navigating. It's just part of the journey, but man. I've got great relationships with my wife and our children, and I'm grateful for her presence and what she brings to our unit.
Clark Kellogg: I mean, what she does with me and for me, and then how she's nurtured and loves and continues to love our kids. It's a wonderful thing, not perfect, but I would try ... Michael, when our kids were younger, I would try to be it as many of their activities and games and so forth as I could and when I was home, I was really pretty consistent in being present with them. You could always go back and say, "I wish I'd have done more," but I feel decent about my kids having a sense of who their dad is and where his heart was because of time spent with them, even when it may not have been as much as we all would've liked at certain times.
Michael Redd: Now a granddad.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, three times, man, three times. Two little girls that'll be four in September. They were born a day apart, so they will be for the 28th and 29th of September of 2020. Then the little fella, our pandemic baby, little Clark Hayden was born April 9th of this year, so man, it's a joy indescribable. You've got two children that are far away from having children of their own, but I hope you get a chance to experience that. I know you can see it in your mom and dad, and your in-laws in terms of how they dote on the grandchildren. Man, it's a special joy that is wonderful.
Michael Redd: Always up for challenge with your competitive nature.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, yeah.
Michael Redd: You ascend in your new career and new profession, and now you're working the Final Four. Talk about an experience of working your first Final Four and how you felt.
Clark Kellogg: Man, I was nervous obviously to be next to Jim Nantz calling my first Final Four back in 2009. But it also was something I had aspired to. I had hoped that I would have a chance to be in that seat and called my first Final Four courtside in 2009. Billy Packer, the Hall of Fame broadcaster, long time top shelf analysts for college basketball going back to the mid 70s had spent almost 30 years at CBS and when he retired, I got a chance to step into his seat. Big shoes to fill, but I was excited about the opportunity. Grateful for it, but a tad nervous in Detroit when I was there courtside with Jim Nantz to call my first Final Four.
Clark Kellogg: And I'm thankful I had a chance to do it. I was in that role with Jim for five years, and then Steve Kerr when Turner became partners with CBS in 2011, then Steve Kerr joined us for a couple of years as well and we had a three man team. But, it was a sense of accomplishment, Michael, to get to that point, to have the decision makers at CBS feel confident enough in me that I deserved that chance. And now to be in the role as one of the lead studio analysts for the tournament is exactly where I should be and full circle, because that's where I started, with CBS as a studio analyst.
Michael Redd: And then the following year, you accept the board seat at The Ohio State University, which is another incredible achievement. I think you called me right after it happened, you got select. I was on the golf actually, but yeah, what a major, major, incredible accomplishment as well.
Clark Kellogg: And it came out of nowhere. I had heard some rumblings through some folks that I was possibly being considered for one of the trustee seats as an appointment by the governor of the state of Ohio. At that time, it was Ted Strickland. Actually, me and Jeff Wadsworth, the former CEO of Battelle here in Central Ohio were his last appointments, but to have a chance to serve in that capacity at my alma mater as perhaps, and I'm not sure if this is accurate but I might be the first former student athlete to serve as a trustee at Ohio State. I'm not sure if that's the case, but I know there haven't been many if it's not and to have that opportunity, and the experience that I gained from getting a chance to see the university from a totally different perspective, the impact it has, the commitment of the 10s of thousands of folks that work there.
Clark Kellogg: The passion the leadership has for developing and educating students, the impact Ohio State has and its reach, not just statewide and locally, but nationally and internationally, all of that was part of my experience. So, it was a milestone moment when the governor appointed me and let me know that I would be serving in that role. It was a nine-year appointment and quite a journey, but something that happened, I think for a lot of reasons. God ordained it, but also finishing school there after leaving a year early I think was part of what helped that opportunity unfold. Serving in other capacities prior to that. I had served on the Ohio State Alumni Association Board from 2005 to 2009. I had done other things with Ohio State in a service capacity and I think all of that allowed when the opportunity presented itself for another appointment, for me to be in the queue of consideration. So, really one of the great honors and privileges of my life to this point to have had that experience.
Michael Redd: And then you continue to excel at what you're doing with CBS to the point where they ask you now to interview the President of the United States, and to play him in horse. Tell me about that experience. I mean, wow.
Clark Kellogg: Michael, it blew me away that basketball, the game that I fell in love with and you did to at some point early in your days, to see basketball give me what it's given me in terms of an education, a livelihood, experiences and to interact with the sitting president through basketball was absolutely jaw dropping and amazing. To have a shared interest in a game that would allow me to get to the White House court with President Obama to have a fun game of POTUS was just something that couldn't have dreamed up. I really couldn't have, and there were a lot of things that converged to make that happen.
Clark Kellogg: He and I are about the same age, we're only a month apart. I think one of his dearest friends is a guy from Columbus, Marty Nesbitt. I'm sure Marty perhaps ran a little interference and let him know who I was and what I was about, and that certainly paved the way. His love for basketball, the popularity of the tournament, my track record and history at CBS. All of that converged to an opportunity that was memorable, and an unbelievable milestone. We actually had four interactions during his time in office. One was he came and guess commentated with Verne Lundquist and I. We were doing a game in Washington. It was Duke and Georgetown I think, and the president came and did a segment with us, the first part of the second half of that game to give us a three-man booth. Then it was that following spring, that was in December of '09. Then that spring of 2010 was the POTUS game.
Clark Kellogg: Then there was another opportunity to interview him around the tournament, talking about him coaching his daughters in basketball and what sports had meant to him, and what it means to young people. Then when he was about to kick off his campaign for his second term, he was at the First Four and requested that I do the interview with him at halftime with him and British Prime Minister at the time, Prime Minister Cameron. So, basketball connected me to four unique opportunities to engage with President Barack Obama. I still marvel that that round ball and our shared love for it, and where God had put me and him connected us in some memorable moments.
Michael Redd: There is often conversation about how to handle failure. Talk to us a little bit about how to handle success. I named a number of things that you've been able to experience by betting on yourself and accepting the challenges and new mountains to climb. Talk a little bit about how it is to handle success and achievement.
Clark Kellogg: That's a great flip of the question. Yeah, we know adversity and failure can steal our resolve and teach us valuable lessons as we get up and go forward again, but there's a responsibility that comes with the earned privilege of success, I think. And oftentimes, that responsibility is a weight, it's something you have to grow into and learn. You need to rely on other people to help give you some counsel and balance. But I always hunt back to humility as being really a foundational pillar when it comes to handling whatever success you might have. Because at the end of the day, your success is not born only of you. Clearly you have a role in your success. You have choices that you make, you have disciplines that you exercise, you have education that you glean. But, there are also other people that help you in those spaces and places.
Clark Kellogg: And so for me, one of the bedrocks for handling whatever success that I've enjoyed is to remember that it's not about me. It's about, how am I handling what God has given me? How am I handling the responsibility of being married and being a father and a grandfather? How am I treating other people on a consistent, daily basis, whether the spotlight is on me or not? How am I engaging with folks? How am I contributing to lasting good in my circle of influence? That starts with a posture of humility. Title, accolades, income, I receive those with humility as byproducts of trying to honor God with my life and being good at what I do, but it's not the essence of my identity. So, humility is really what anchors me around whatever success might have.
Clark Kellogg: Then the other part of it is recognizing that your success creates additional responsibility for you to impact and influence others in a positive way. And, how are you doing that? How can you do more of that and even do it better? So, humility is where I try to rest no matter what accolades may come, no matter what success I might be afforded and whatever benefits that brings in lifestyle and opportunity and relationships. I want to really love God and love people in every aspect of my being and doing. Love God and love people, and that really keeps me anchored.
Clark Kellogg: But successes, there's a responsibility to it, Michael. I mean, people would love ... Everybody wants to do well I think, and do good and have good, but there's a cost. There's a price you pay and when you step into that, there's also a responsibility that you have to bear as a steward of your success. So, humility is what I really try to anchor myself in, no matter what others are thinking or saying about me and no matter what titles I might have. And if ever stray away from that, God will use my wife to admonish me and remind me that I'm not as great as some people might think I am, or even as great as I might think I am sometimes.
Michael Redd: That's phenomenon. Is it okay to use humility when we win against each other in golf?
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Long as I'm on the winning side of it, yeah, I'll be a humble, gracious winner. I'll also be a humble, gracious loser as well. It's got to work both ways, man. We don't want circumstantial, insistent humility. We want it to be permeating all the time.
Michael Redd: Quick story, and then I'm going to go to another question, quick story. Do you remember when we were caught in a tornado?
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, yeah. We were trying to get off the golf course, yeah. We were trying to get off. That was over at [inaudible 00:47:02].
Michael Redd: Yes. It was so windy. We were in the middle of fairway and we-
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, and we were still trying to figure out a way to finish that hole knowing that we had no business trying to do that. We needed to hightail it out of there, but that was when competitiveness almost cost us too much. We just did beat that storm, man.
Michael Redd: Yes, we did. Yes, we did.
Clark Kellogg: We just did get to our vehicles and safety.
Michael Redd: Yes, we did. Oh, my goodness. I got to ask you some fun questions. I'll be real quick with this, and then we'll close it out with some more personal questions. Greatest basketball player you ever saw.
Clark Kellogg: Well, for me if I only get one, I'm going Kareem. I think LeBron is super duper special and he would be 1A for me, MJ, but if you give me one, I'm going Kareem. Then right after that, LeBron with his mind, his skillset, his power, his athleticism. It would be hard for me to take anybody above those two for me. Kareem first, and then LeBron.
Michael Redd: Got it, got it. I would say MJ, but.
Clark Kellogg: I was just going to say, do I get to ask you?
Michael Redd: Yeah, you can ask me.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, who's your guy? You're going MJ?
Michael Redd: Yeah, hands down.
Clark Kellogg: Okay.
Michael Redd: You played against him when he was a young fella, I played [inaudible 00:48:32] so there's nuances there. But for me, MJ with the combination of records and achievements, and defensively, all around I think he's ... And then what he's done for the game off the court globally.
Clark Kellogg: Oh yeah, no. Hey man, I don't have any issue with anybody who hangs their hat with MJ. As a matter of fact, I understand it completely. Just for me personally, I just ... Kareem was my guy and it's just hard to not go with your guy. I mean, I wore 33 all my career because of him. Then what I learned and read about him and his journey and who he is as a writer, an activist, intellectual and all of that just wraps up into a pretty special package. Then LeBron just in terms of 21st century strengths, skill, athleticism and so forth. So there you have it, we can agree to disagree. We can agree to disagree.
Michael Redd: I felt LeBron [inaudible 00:49:36], I know. [inaudible 00:49:38] special, special. He's special. Greatest golfer of all time?
Clark Kellogg: I'm going Tiger there. I'm going Tiger. I mean, I know the [inaudible 00:49:48] Golden Bear, Ohio State born and bred, Buckeye born and bred. The great Jack Nicklaus records clearly. Tiger's still tastes them but again, I look at athleticism, the dynamic nature of how Tiger plays and played at his best. Jack was similar in his day in terms of doing things that others had not done, and all of the great ones usually are able to bring in or usher in a new era of excellence. Tiger and Jack both are equal in that regard. Tiger was just more modern and a little more athleticism, but I'm leaning Tiger, man. His dominance against the type of fields that he's had to wrestle with and face as I think there were probably more good players, or really good players and tigers they. Although, there were some great ones in Jack's time to at the top. I don't think the depth of the tour was what it is now, so I'm going Tiger. Where do you land there?
Michael Redd: Tiger. I love Jack, and obviously our fellow Buckeye, but yeah Tiger. It's hard to deny. I know me and you are still avid fans of the NBA game.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah.
Michael Redd: Talk about real quick how the game has changed and morphed. You have analytics now, you have the technology aspect now. How much has the game changed? And then from your perspective, is it better?
Clark Kellogg: I do think it's better because it's been enhanced by the athleticism of the players, which is much more universal than it's ever been. I mean, you go from every position on the floor, every size of player and the athleticism is just something that we've not seen in terms of quickness, strength. A lot of that is what we've learned about training, and improving, and enhancing the body around training techniques and rest and nutrition. The game on the court has obviously been drastically changed because of the three-point shot. I think that's the biggest change that is obvious in the game.
Clark Kellogg: The number of three-point shots that are taken, the number of guys that can shoot them effectively, the real focus on drives and threes as the essence of the game. I don't necessarily like the lack of balance in terms of shot quality and volume. There's not much happening in the mid range. It's either drive it and dunk it and lay it up or shoot the three, but it's entertaining because of the athleticism of the players. Those are the two biggest changes for me, Michael, the athleticism across the board and then the three-point shot.
Michael Redd: Could you have played in this era and thrived?
Clark Kellogg: I don't know. I really don't man. I categorize myself as a really good basketball player. On a one to 10 scale in terms of basketball skill and ability, I wan an eight, nineish. Can handle, could catch, good rebound, good score, was decent on defense, could've been better in time. But athletically in this day and age, I'd be like a six or seven based on when I was playing and I don't know if that would be good enough at my position. Clearly my basketball skill would allow me to play, but the athleticism is so much different now than what it was 30 years ago. I have a tough time envisioning myself out there doing work against the guys that I would have to do work against.
Clark Kellogg: So, I'm saying I think my basketball skill would've gotten me on the roster. Whether I would've been a starter or a borderline All Star in this day and age of athleticism, I'm not quite sure. And that's freeze framing me to where I was and where these guys are. Now, obviously if I'm coming along and benefiting from some of their stuff, that's a hard question to answer. But my answer is, I would still be able to play, I don't know if I would stand out as much as I was beginning to stand out back in the 80s.
Michael Redd: You've had an incredible, I would say Hall of Fame broadcasting career, you're a grandfather now. What's next for Clark Kellogg? What's the next mountain? What's the next challenge for you?
Clark Kellogg: Man, that's a great question and I really don't have an answer, Michael, I really don't in terms of a specific mountain. It really for me is going to be about, how does loving God and loving people manifest itself for me, and even Rosy personally? What does that look like in terms of touching other people? Is it teaching? Is it mentoring? Is it counseling? Is it philanthropy? I think it's going to be bits and pieces of each, but I'm not sure what form that's going to take. I know it's going to include uplifting and inspiring, and hopefully helping other people in practical ways. But, what form that takes? Am I a professor? Am I a teacher? Are we as a couple volunteering at a significant level? I'm just not sure. But I do know it'll involve loving God and loving his people in practical, meaningful ways. And that includes, obviously it starts with loving each other and loving our children and grandchildren well, and then extending that to other folks outside of the family circle.
Michael Redd: So powerful. What would you tell your 16 year old self? If anything, what would you share with him?
Clark Kellogg: Engage with other people, don't be so myopic. I mean, you're required when you're striving for excellence and you want to excel and achieve, there's a certain amount of tunnel vision. This you have to have, but I would really try to embrace relationships with more folks along the way. That would probably be what I would ... Then the other thing would be to seek help when you need it. Don't think you have to try to do everything on your own. Open yourself up to being known and helped by other people instead of feeling like you've got to try to carry the mantle all yourself.
Michael Redd: This is what I've been listening to for the last 20 years. You just heard an hour, but I've heard a lifetime of wisdom and nuggets from my dear friend. I want to thank you for being on the show today, Clark. It was an incredible time with you man and always a joy to spend time with you.
Clark Kellogg: Yeah, that's the same way I feel and you know it, Michael. Appreciate you having me on, and look forward to us enjoying these same types of conversations chasing that white ball around, man.
Michael Redd: I owe you some dates. I owe you some dates.
Clark Kellogg: Yup, you do, you do. I'm sure you're going to take care of it. I'm sure you'll take care of it.
Michael Redd: Yes sir.
Clark Kellogg: Great fun, and great job too, man. Excellent, excellent.
Michael Redd: Thank you man, love you bro.
Clark Kellogg: [inaudible 00:57:27] chance to converse with you. Yup, love you too my brother. Much love.
Michael Redd: Now you see why Clark is so special to me. He's a man of integrity and faith. A class acts who loves God, who is grounded in humility, the definition of success. Thank you for listening to today's episode. To read the show's notes, learn more about my work or connect with me, visit michaelredd.com. New episodes release every week on Monday, so make sure to subscribe if you want to stay up-to-date. Until next time, I'm Michael Redd and remember, you are the secret to your success.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.