Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

January 12, 2010

‘Mister’ influences Ramblin’ Rams

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Just call him “Mister”. He’s earned the moniker.

Keith Jennings sticks out on the sidelines of a Bluefield College basketball game because he is usually the smallest person on the floor.

Yet, when Jennings speaks, it’s the much taller players that look “up” to him. For good reason.

“They look at me as a coach,” said Jennings, who is serving as an assistant for Bluefield first-year head coach Richard Morgan, and is also directing the Rams’ junior varsity squad. “When coach Morgan says things to them, they definitely respect that. Usually when the next guy says something they don’t take it as seriously just because he is not the head coach, but I think with what they want to learn from me it automatically gives me some credibility.

“It’s been a pleasure working with these guys here and I just see a bright future for this tradition that they already have here.”

Jennings has earned that respect, and the nickname “Mister” since childhood to go with it. He was an All-America point guard at East Tennessee State, spent four seasons in the NBA, another 10 years overseas, and is now sharing his experiences with the Ramblin’ Rams with a dream of being a head coach.

“It’s almost like instant credibility, I know I’m not the only coach that has played in the NBA, but very seldom do you get the chance to learn from guys that have that background,” Jennings said. “I’m sure there are a lot of programs that have that, but somewhere like Bluefield, I don’t think they’ve had that...

“At first I didn’t think I would want to coach in the NBA, but eventually if things worked in a way where that opportunity presented itself, I think I could. I wouldn’t mind doing it, but definitely being a college head coach would probably be the next step for me.”

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