An article about Chet Kammerer, former coach of Grace’s basketball team from 1966-75, appeared in the Palm Beach Post yesterday. A portion of the article is below.
When Erik Spoelstra was asked in December about his involvement in the organization’s draft evaluation process, the Heat coach immediately shot down the question.
“Wrong question,” Spoelstra said. “Not a chance, pal. No way. I’ve got enough film watching this group and trying to find solutions. We have a very deep staff and I know they’re at work. But I’m not thinking along those lines at all.”
At the time the Heat were 10-22 and Spoelstra didn’t even want to hear the word, “draft.”
But that doesn’t mean that Spoelstra stays away from Miami’s player personnel department. In fact, a strong bond with the Heat’s vice president of player personnel lures him in that direction sometimes.
Chet Kammerer, who has been scouting for the Heat since 1996 and is now the organization’s Vice President of Player Personnel, has a close relationship with Spoelstra. Despite a pretty wide age gap between the 74-year-old Kammerer and the 46-year-old Spoelstra, they are close friends.
“I love Chet,” Spoelstra said earlier this month. “He’s a man of character, he’s a man of faith, he’s a man of great humility. He’s one of my favorite people on the planet.”
Who is Kammerer? He’s not the person who comes to mind when discussing the Heat’s success over the past 20 years, but he’s one of the organization’s most important employees.
Shortly after Pat Riley joined the organization in 1995, then-Heat general manager Randy Pfund turned to one of his former assistant coaches with the Lakers to become a regional scout for Miami. While Pfund served as the Lakers’ head coach from 1992-94, Kammerer was an assistant on his coaching staff.
That connection led Pfund to hire Kammerer as the Heat’s West Coast scout in 1996. But Kammerer was better known as a coach at the time, as he spent 27 years as a college basketball head coach — 10 years at Grace (Ind.) College and then 17 years at Westmont College — before becoming an assistant coach at the NBA level.
“It was an opportunity,” Kammerer said of becoming the Heat’s West Coast scout. “I had already been a college coach for some time and that was an area that I thought I would enjoy, evaluating players. I felt like that was something that would be a big challenge and an opportunity. So that’s how I got started in it.”
But Kammerer never thought he would spend two decades as a scout, moving up the ranks from the Heat’s West Coast scout to Director of Scouting to Director of College Scouting to Director of Player Personnel to his current position of Vice President of Player Personnel. He’s in the middle of his 21st season with the organization.
And at 74 years old, Kammerer doesn’t have plans of slowing down any time soon.