Theresa Gernatt finds new avenue in basketball
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
November 12, 2013 12:23 AM | 3278 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
11-17-09  --GERNATT Theresa--  Mount Paran's girls' head basketball coach Theresa Gernatt.  STAFF/LAURA MOON.
11-17-09 --GERNATT Theresa-- Mount Paran's girls' head basketball coach Theresa Gernatt. STAFF/LAURA MOON.
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After four seasons as coach of the Mount Paran Christian School girls basketball team, Theresa Gernatt’s career in the sports is taking a different turn.

Gernatt’s already played in high school and college, and she’s coached on the same levels, too.

The next step of her career?

Color commentary.

A former two-sport standout at Wheeler High School who was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2011, will be providing color commentary on ESPN3 — an Internet-based medium — for an assortment of Kennesaw State women’s basketball home games, through the Atlantic Sun Conference. Gernatt said she will work a few men’s games as well.

Gernatt, who spent the last four seasons as Mount Paran’s girls coach before stepping down following the 2012-13 season, looks at her new opportunity as a challenge and another stepping stone to her basketball career.

“I think this is a great opportunity, once again, to study the game from a different perspective,” said Gernatt, who was a four-year letter-winner at Georgia Tech from 1988-91. “Now that I have coached and administered at every level of the game, it’s time to study it from a corporate angle from the outside looking into the building.

“This is the first time in my career that I am coming into the arena as an unbiased spectator. That’s hard for a coach. I can’t pull for either team. Instead, I’m pulling for the fan.”

Although Gernatt has commentated on a few Kennesaw State games this season, she said she’s still getting used to the neutral approach to the sport. She said she’s been used to “having a dog in the fight.”

In her times as a coach — her resume included stops at Maryland, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Florida State, Troy and Oglethorpe before she came to Mount Paran — Gernatt grew used to supporting the school she represented.

However, she’s already established a voice when she is giving insight on games.

“One thing that’s different about me is that I’m not a negative person,” Gernatt said. “When I leave the TV set, I like to know the world is a better place because I’m hacking my jaw.”

Gernatt’s connection with Art Eckman, a special assistant to Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams, helped her get the position. Eckman enjoyed a long broadcasting career, including tenures with ESPN and WXIA-TV in Atlanta, before coming to Kennesaw State in 2009.

Gernatt also has previous relationships with Kennesaw State women’s coach Nitra Perry and assistant Stacey Franklin through her days of college coaching. Gernatt and Franklin both grew up in Cobb County and played against one another, with Franklin having played at the original Campbell High School.

“I think it’s super that we can take advantage of her skills and knowledge of the game, and she was an outstanding player in her own right,” Eckman said. “I think her knowledge of coaching basketball is going to raise the bar as far as broadcasts are concerned.”

When Gernatt isn’t doing color commentary for ESPN3, she is working as an independent college counselor.

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