Coaching youth basketball was a big part of the now Supreme Court justice’s confirmation hearings this fall. He even brought his CYO team to the hearings to prove his passion. One of the many, many lowlights of the proceedings came when Kavanaugh moaned that those asking him to answer charges of sexual assault were killing the chances that he’d be back on the sidelines
“I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Kavanaugh said during the hearings. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.”
But over the weekend, Kavanaugh was indeed back at it during the 2018 Dick Brown Memorial Turkey Shootout, an annual basketball tournament for CYO squads held in Hyattsville, Md. Kavanaugh’s 12-and-under Blessed Sacrament squad, the defending champs, made it all the way back to the championship game this year.
The rest of the testimony notwithstanding, Kavanaugh’s claim about being an ardent supporter of girls hoops is unimpeachable. Tournament director Joe Sego tells me that Kavanaugh has brought teams to the event—named after longtime DC-area youth coach Dick Brown, who died in 2006—for at least the last four years. Word around D.C. basketball circles is that the FBI actually contacted youth hoops referees during their September investigation of Kavanaugh and asked about his conduct during the games. “I think everybody said he wasn’t an intolerant douchebag,” says one source familiar with the background check.
The renown/notoriety the jurist-coach has gotten since the hearings didn’t cause much change in how the competition was run, Sego says, other than “the three [Secret Service] guys standing at the door this year.”
And, as it turned out, fans didn’t treat him any differently. Sego says “the bigger celebrity” at the event was Johnny Holliday, the locally legendary University of Maryland play-by-play announcer (who obsessives of the Beatles also known as the guy who in 1966 introduced the Fab Four at their final concert).
“I think more people wanted their pictures with Johnny than Brett,” he says.
Alas, Kavanaugh’s team wasn’t able to defend their championship, falling in the finals to a tough team from Holy Redeemer, a Kensington, Md., parish. No need to blame anybody’s bias for the result, however.