Kerry Prather remembers a particular time he took his 2-year-old son to practice. The toddler was in the “bottle-blankie” stage and never left home without them — Franklin College men’s basketball practices included.
Prather, the Grizzlies’ longtime coach, recalls watching drills under the basket, his son perched on his lap. Before long, as often happened, something else grabbed the boy’s interest, and he wandered off to another part of the gym.
Within moments, practice, as Prather put it, “left the tracks and went south on us.” Rising to his feet, bottle in one hand and blankie in the other, he made his displeasure known in no uncertain terms.
“I threw a little fit. Then we took a break and shot free throws,” said Prather, who had directed much of his frustration at then-freshman Joe Hougland, who was a 6-foot-9 center from Franklin Community High School. “I remember it because Joe told me while he was shooting free throws, ‘Coach, you have no idea how hard it is to have your butt chewed by a man holding a bottle and a blankie.’