COLUMBUS – Desi Kirkman knows what it feels like to win a state championship for Lima Central Catholic.
On Saturday, he learned the feeling of being an intern coach for the state championship T-Birds.
Kirkman was on the bench as an intern/assistant coach when LCC knocked off Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 64-62 at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
“This is a great feeling,’’ Kirkman said. “I’m glad these boys did this because I’ve experienced this myself, and I know how good a feeling it is. I didn’t do anything today. It was all these boys. They worked hard every day.”
Kirkman scored 15 points for LCC in the 2010 Division III state championship 60-57 win over Orrville. He also had five rebounds and six assists in the championship win.
Kirkman felt this state tournament was much tougher on him than in 2010.
“Honestly, when I played I didn’t think about it,” he said. “It was all reaction. But on the bench (today) I was nervous as anyone out there. I had the butterflies the whole time. I was telling these kids, I don’t know how I did it, because I couldn’t imagine taking those shots (at the end of the game). But I love the feeling that I was out here and I was able to experience it with these boys.”
Kirkman is a senior at Wittenberg and played wide receiver on the football team.
He was able to return to LCC on an internship to be an assistant boys basketball coach.
“It’s something I did to help finish my degree so I can start my coaching,” Kirkman said. “I’m a Sports Management major.
Kirkman came to the T-Birds in January.
“Coach Kill allowed me to come on the team for the second semester and I’m very honored. I’m very proud of these boys.”
Kirkman was able to impart a little advice to the T-Birds before they made the trip to Columbus.
“I told these boys to relax,” Kirkman said. “I came here and I know how it was. I was tense and it took me two, three minutes. I told them, ‘Don’t let it take two, three minutes to get settled in. Treat it like any other game. You’ve done this all year. Take care of business.’ And that’s what they did today.’ ’’