Longtime Kansas City Star sportswriter Blair Kerkhoff has covered it all, most recently chronicling the Royals’ rise to a World Series championship and the rebuild of the Chiefs under head coach Andy Reid.
On Monday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced that he’s been elected into the USBWA Hall of Fame as an award-winning college columnist.
A past president of the organization, Kerkhoff will be inducted with two others during the USBWA’s annual awards luncheon at the Final Four in Houston on April 4. He has been covering college sports for The Star since 1989.
“College basketball was the first thing I covered when I started,” said Kerkhoff, whose career began at the Roanoke Times & World News. “I got to cover a lot of conference tournaments. Eventually, it became my favorite sport.”
This spring, Kerkhoff will be covering his 26th Final Four. He has covered some 30 regional finals and semifinals and written five books, including a biography of former KU coach Phog Allen.
“Actually, it was David Thompson who pulled me into basketball big-time,” Kerkhoff said. “I was one of his biggest fans. I don't think I ever missed seeing him play at home in the early 70s.”
Also slated for induction and the April awards luncheon are retired Notre Dame publicist Roger Valdiserri and late sportswriter Bob Pille.