Hampshire boys basketball coach Bob Barnett has grown acutely aware of warning signs and pays heed when they develop.
When Barnett, 52, experienced dizziness at school Friday, he did not mess around. He called his heart doctor, took a test over the phone and eventually called it a day, even though the Whip-Purs had a home game Friday night against Grayslake North.
Barnett suffered two heart attacks Nov. 20, 2012, the day of the season opener. Medical personnel discovered Barnett had a crack on the anterior wall of his heart. He returned Dec. 12 and finished the season with the Whips, who had one of their best seasons in school history and shared the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division championship with Crystal Lake Central.
Hampshire won, 64-60, on Friday night with sophomore coach Todd Severns taking over for the night. The win put the Whips at 6-9 overall, 2-1 in the FVC Fox.
“I’ve had a heart monitor on all summer,” Barnett said. “I’ve had some dizzy spells from time to time. The blood pools in my legs and sometimes when I stand up too quickly it doesn’t get to my upper body fast enough. I was dizzy in third period so I got my heart doctor’s nurse and took the test. I got 12 hours of sleep yesterday and feel good.”
Barnett was not sure what the problem was Friday, he just knew he needed to take caution.
“I can tell when something’s coming on,” he said. “It was worse yesterday than it’s been. There was no way I could coach. I’ve learned my lesson, when I feel something, it’s a sign. I’ll be back Monday.”
Barnett, who was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame last year, plans to be back on the bench for Tuesday’s home game with Sycamore. He went to school Saturday morning and watched video of Friday’s game.
Severns, who was Woodstock’s coach in 2003 and 2004, coached the sophomore and varsity games Friday. He is new on Barnett’s staff this season.
“The kids played well and were well-prepared,” Severns said. “But that’s all Bob. He’s a Hall of Fame coach and they’re so well-prepared. I just kind of put it on cruise control. I just tried not to screw it up.
“I had a lot of fun. It just shows what a great job Bob does. I’m very happy for the kids.”
Severns appreciated a moment in the second half when team leader Ryan Cork, a senior guard averaging 17.2 points a game, asked to call timeout and helped draw up a play.
“I didn’t mind that at all,” Severns said. “They know what they’re doing. He diagrammed a play and the kids responded.”
Barnett called having Severns on staff a blessing.
“Todd did a great job,” Barnett said. “What he did coaching two games was above and beyond.”