BEIRUT — Steve Kerr, Beirut-born National Basketball Association (NBA) nine-time champion and current coach of the San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors, surprised his social media fans with a message of solidarity for Lebanon.
In a video shared earlier this month by Qatari sports network beIN sports presenter Paul Fadel, Kerr says: “I want to say hi to you and to everybody in Lebanon, my home country where I was born. I know it’s been a very difficult time in Lebanon, and my family and I are thinking of you and are hoping for the best things for Lebanon and for all of you.”
Among the hundreds of comments under the video posted by Fadel and reposted by other accounts expressing gratitude for the message and admiration for Kerr, many users said they were unaware of his Lebanese roots.
“Steve Kerr is from here nahh bro ive never been so honored,” one user gushed.
Kerr was born in Beirut in 1965, though his family’s ties to Lebanon, as detailed in a 2016 profile in the New York Times, span back to 1921, when his grandparents Stanley and Elsa Kerr resettled to Beirut from the US and taught at the American University of Beirut (AUB) for 40 years.
When Kerr was a toddler his parents, Malcolm and Ann (née Zwicker), who met in Beirut as AUB graduate students, moved to California.
His father, Malcolm H. Kerr, arrived back in Beirut in August 1982 to serve as AUB president after acting president David Dodge was kidnapped.
Two years later, a now grown-up Steve Kerr joined the Arizona State University’s Wildcats basketball team during his studies while his mother and younger brother were living in Beirut.
But it was the height of Lebanon’s Civil War. On Jan. 18, 1984, his father Malcolm Kerr was shot to death by unknown assailants, thought to be Islamic extremists.
At a college basketball game four years later, the rival team taunted Kerr about his father’s assassination. While Kerr was initially shocked to tears by the taunts, he recovered and later said “there's no question they made me play my best,” according to a 2014 ESPN profile.
“He wasn't going to charge into the stands to go after those idiots. He was just going to ruin their night by winning the game,” his brother Andrew told the sports publication.
Kerr would go on to have a playing career with a record-high three-point shot accuracy and five NBA championship victories. Since becoming head coach of the Warriors in 2014, they have won the championship four times.
In a 2020 interview with Arab News, Kerr cited his father’s influence and lifelong support for his career in basketball, while his brother, John, told ESPN in 2014 “it was a highlight of [Malcolm’s] life to watch Steve playing.”
BEIRUT — Steve Kerr, Beirut-born National Basketball Association (NBA) nine-time champion and current coach of the San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors, surprised his social media fans with a message of solidarity for Lebanon.In a video shared earlier this month by Qatari sports network beIN sports presenter Paul Fadel, Kerr says: “I want to say hi to you and to everybody in Lebanon, my...