Basketball Recruitment

Early Discharge from the Navy

"I had one of those nights that you dream about..."

"While I was in Washington, since all of us in the ceremonial guard were six foot and over, we formed a basketball team. We went around and played other military places, some schools, and things like that. One night we were playing somewhere-- one of the schools-- I had one of those nights that you dream about, and I scored 52 points. This guy came up to me and introduced himself and handed me his card and it said: New York University Athletic Department Chief Scout. He asked me how much time I had left in the Navy and I said about four years. 'If we could get you an early discharge, would you be interested in coming to New York University and playing basketball for us?' I said 'Sure, yeah, why not, whatever.' Well I didn’t hear from him for another year, year and a half, and I said, 'Okay, that was a nice B.S. story....'

Next thing I know, I’m down at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and I was in my barracks and the NCO of the day comes to me and says, 'Kessler you got a visitor.' I said, 'Who would visit me at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina?' I went to the day room and it was this gentleman. He says, 'We have arranged for you to get an early discharge. You will be discharged in October and school starts in November.' What they did in those days, you could not play varsity until you were a sophomore. As a freshman you have to play junior varsity. Well, they arranged that they gave me credit for all the courses I had taken when I was in the Navy. I entered school as a sophomore! I was able to play varsity basketball."