West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman. Sun-Times file photo.
The biggest news Friday coming out of the first day at the 10th Annual Hoops Mountain Shootout at West Aurora was the absence of coach Gordie Kerkman.
The veteran Blackhawk mentor normally maintains a low profile at such summer events, letting assistants Paul Kieffer and Dan Batka coach the team while he watches from the side, clipboard and notepad in hand, studying his team.
Kerkman phoned Kieffer Friday morning to let him know that he was having his wife drive him to a local hospital because he was having chest pains.
“He sounded normal and said he just wanted to get it checked out,” Kieffer said. “He said he was going in as a precaution and they were going to do some tests.”
The coach was resting comfortably later in the day and even kept tabs on his team, by phone, with members of his staff.
Kerkman originally hoped to be released after an overnight stay, but told sophomore assistant John Giles he would be kept in the hospital Saturday for further testing.
The Blackhawks played without 6-5 Roland Griffin, still nursing a sprained toe, and 6-9 Carleton Williams, who is visiting his father in Florida, but still won three straight to claim their pool. West topped Hoffman Estates 62-24, Willowbrook 70-26 and Waubonsie Valley 40-27.
They’re scheduled to resume Saturday at 9:30 a.m. against St. Charles East.