When you’ve run out of Halls of Fame to join, what honors are left? For this local basketball legend, an appointment to the Court of Honor awaits.
Former Oviedo boys’ basketball coach Ed Kershner never dreamed that he would enjoy a 45-year career in which he would become the most successful coach in Florida history, winning two state titles and being named to five different Halls of Fame. He simply loved the game of basketball, and for him, coaching was always a joy.
But, even though he retired in 2017, Ed continues to be recognized for his outstanding coaching accomplishments. This past July, he was inducted into the National High School Basketball Coaches Association’s Court of Honor – one of only two coaches selected in 2020 for the prestigious national award.
Since 2012, the Court of Honor has recognized coaches who’ve had a great impact on the sport of high-school basketball. Ed was to receive his award this past summer in Cleveland, but the NHSBCA’s annual conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ed is hoping to attend the 2021 conference, where he will be recognized for his lifetime achievements.
“When I heard about the award, I said, ‘What?’ I didn’t think I was worthy of that,” Ed says. “I am very, very honored and very blessed to be even mentioned.”
The humble coach, who is battling kidney failure, clearly deserves all the honors he has received. A native of basketball-crazy Indiana, Ed began his career as an assistant coach in 1968 and went on to amass a 901-377 record as a head coach in both Indiana and Florida. He won state championships at Kissimmee Osceola High in 1983 and at Oviedo High in 2014. His record at Oviedo was 454-156.
In 2014, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association selected Ed as the National Basketball Coach of the Year.
After so many years coaching and inspiring young men on the basketball court, Ed is now giving himself daily pep talks. Each morning, he wakes up and hopes to get a call that a kidney is available for a transplant.
“I have my days, but I have the attitude that every day is a good day, and I proceed on,” says Ed, who lives in Oviedo with Joyce, his wife of 52 years. “Every day, I get up and say, ‘Today is the day!’ I’ve got to be positive about it and look at the bright side. And I need to be a little lucky.”
One thing that has helped Ed maintain his upbeat spirit has been the support he has gotten from the wonderful people he has met over the years, including many of his former players and fellow coaches. His caring, giving attitude is now paying dividends during his time in need.
“I’m always trying to give back,” Ed says. “It’s what you can do for people, not what people can do for you. That’s the way I’ve always been, and I want to continue to do that as long as I can.”
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