After attending high school in the Columbus area and growing up the son of an Ohio State Hall of Fame inductee, it’s easy to assume senior guard Nick Kellogg grew up a Buckeye fan.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I actually don’t like the Buckeyes,” Kellogg said.
Kellogg is one of four members of the Ohio basketball team who will be returning to his hometown when the Bobcats take on Ohio State Tuesday in Columbus. For them, this game is much more than a homecoming: It’s a battle for family bragging rights.
Kellogg’s father, Clark, played basketball for four seasons at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to two NCAA Tournament appearances, and in his senior year was awarded Big Ten Most Valuable Player Award.
After a four-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, Clark stayed in Indianapolis to broadcast the team’s games. Growing up in the Indianapolis area, Nick became a bigger fan of one of Ohio State’s conference rivals: Indiana Univeristy.
“I’m kind of a Hoosier at heart,” Kellogg said. “I wouldn’t say I hate the Buckeyes, I just was never really a fan.”
Eventually, Clark took his current position as a college basketball analyst for CBS. Kellogg and his family would move back to Columbus, where he would attend DeSales High School. Today, Clark sits on Ohio State’s Board of Trustees.
“He keeps it back in the past,” Kellogg said of his father. “He’s a Buckeye fan now, but nothing too crazy.”
Tuesday, a Kellogg will take the court in Columbus for this first time in 31 years. But this time, he will be wearing green and white.
“I can’t even put it into word to be honest with you,” Kellogg said of the matchup. “I’ll be looking forward to it. I’ll just put it that way.”
Stevie Taylor has lived in his Columbus his entire life. Like most homes in Columbus, they cheered for Ohio State…for the most part.
“My Mom’s side [of the family], they love Ohio State,” junior point guard Stevie Taylor says. “My Dad and my brother, they just like basketball.”
Growing up, Taylor didn’t have a favorite team, but he did have favorite players.
“I just liked college basketball at the time,” he said. “I don’t want to say I had a favorite team that I had to watch. I just watched good guards at the time.”
Taylor did follow the Buckeyes, but he never considered himself a die-hard fan.
“I had some Ohio State gear when I was younger, but as I got older…[I realized] Ohio State is just Ohio State,” he said.
Though never a true Buckeye fan, Taylor finds himself right in the middle of one of the most intense rivalries in college sports. Growing up, Taylor played AAU ball with both former Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger and former Michigan point guard Trey Burke.
“Even though I’m close with Trey, I’d still have to say I’m a Buckeye,” said Taylor.
Come Tuesday night, Taylor’s family will be in the Schottenstein Center to watch him play. But which side will they be sitting on?
“I already told them, I don’t want none of that Ohio State bullshit,” he said. “You have to be wearing green.”