Men's Basketball Sports

Storytime with Kelvin Sampson rekindles origin of long-time tradition

Head coach Kelvin Sampson's reading of the Bernstein Bears is the first of many weekly videos the basketball team will post on Twitter | File Photo

Head coach Kelvin Sampson reading the “Berenstain Bears” is the first of many weekly videos the basketball team will post on Twitter | File Photo

When head coach Kelvin Sampson was reading the “Berenstain Bears” last week, he was reminded of his days back at Washington State when both his two kids, Kellen and Lauren Sampson, were young, and he would read to them children’s books before they went to sleep.

“One of my greatest joys was reading bedtime stories to them every night,” Kelvin said.

The kids loved having their father read to them so much that it led to the start of a tradition Kelvin does to this day, which is having the entire team over to his house to watch film the night before a home game.

“That’s how that started because I (would do) film study up at the gym with the team,” Kelvin said. “When I’d get back home Kellen and Lauren would be asleep, and they’d be upset that dad wasn’t there to read their bedtime story.

“And that’s how it started that the team came over the night before every home game, so I could continue to read books, and one of the books that I loved to read to them was the ‘Berenstain Bears’.

With many people spending much of their time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Houston basketball team recently launched a weekly storytime where a member of the coaching staff records themselves reading a children’s book, which has brought back memories for Kelvin but is also a sign of the times at the moment.

“We had an unbelievable response to (the first one),” Kelvin said. “I think Lauren said there were over 15,000 people that (saw it). It just shows you that everyone’s bored.”

When it comes to children’s books, the “Berenstain Bears” is one of Kelvin’s favorites, but there are others he enjoys.

“You can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss,” he said.

Even during normal circumstances, the head coach for Houston is always reading a book. His favorite genres are mystery or drama stories that have a plot that can be followed and get to the end.

Kelvin recently finished reading “29 Seconds” by T.M. Logan, and he has moved on to the “Joe Pickett” series by C.J. Box, which centers around a game warden who is always having to handle investigations and crimes. 

“I have to make sure that I always have two books in reserve in case I finish one early,” Kelvin said. “I got to have a book ready to go.”

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