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Q&A: Gene Keady, at Lavin's side at St. John's

Gene Keady

Gene Keady Photo Credit: Getty Images

When Steve Lavin was hired last spring as the new basketball coach at St. John’s, he brought his mentor, Gene Keady, out of retirement as an assistant.

Keady coached for 25 years at Purdue before retiring in 2005; Lavin started his career as assistant under Keady. Keady, 74, spoke to amNY about his new role with Lavin’s Red Storm (9-3), who played Georgetown last night.

How did you feel when you got the call to return to the bench?

I felt humbled, surprised, and happy. A great compliment.

Does coach Lavin listen to your input?

He listens to us. He listens to his assistants. He’s great about listening.

Do you see the team progressing?

We are getting to know who can do what. It’s a two-way street. The team has faced some hardship and has worked hard and become more focused.

Does the new coaching staff work well as a group?

It’s going great. We have great chemistry — one of the best staffs I’ve been on. The coaches don’t have any egos and they do what they’re asked to do. Everyone is on the same page.

Your thoughts on senior forward Justin Brownlee?

He’s a great passer and scorer. He’s just what we need. We’ve been saying let the game come to him. 

How is your experience so far at St. John’s?

I love it and enjoy the camaraderie of the coaches and the kids. I look forward to coming to work.

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