‘K-App’ helped Raiders make history
Favorite subject: history
Sports: basketball, soccer (junior year)
Honors: All-State honoree (15.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg)
Major: early childhood education/sports management
Family: Anthony and Kelly (father and mother); Gavin (brother)
Question: Do you have a nickname?
Answer: (laughs) Sometimes, I’m called K-App.
Q: When did you start playing basketball?
A: I think it was in the third grade. When I was in first and second, there was a hoop outside during recess. But it was in third grade when I started playing organized ball.
Q: You’ve been on the Morgan varsity for how many years now?
A: I’m a four-year starter.
Q: And what position do you play?
A: I’m actually a point guard, because I can handle the ball pretty well. But I’m not a true point. I guess you could call me a shooting guard.
Q: Have you always been a 3-point shooter?
A: (laughs) Oh, yeah. I do like shooting the 3. I like shooting the deep 3. When I was a freshman in my first home game (second game of the season), I made 10 3-pointers. That was pretty crazy.
Q: Wow! I’m sure that got people’s attention. Was that your career high?
A: I finished that game with 33 points, because I also made a layup and a free-throw. But no, last year, I tied the school’s single-game high with 36 points against Fairfield Union. (Pauses) I thought I’d broken the record with 37 in that game. But the coach came up to me afterward and told me that a mistake had been made, and that I only tied the record.
Q: You finished your high school career as a 1,000 point career scorer, right?
A: I think I finished with 1,170. I think that makes me the second leading career scorer.
Q: You’re also the school’s career leader in 3-ponters, too?
A: I finished with 268.
Q: I’ll bet you’ve seen you’re share of junk defenses?
A: (laughs) Well, I do get face-guarded a lot.
Q: Are there any team career highlights that you’d like to share?
A: There’s actually a couple. One happened last year when we beat Maysville for the first time in 13 years.
And the other one was when we won the program’s first-ever girls’ district basketball championship. (46-44 vs. Bellaire at Meadowbrook on March 2).
Q: After the district, I think you played Wheelersburg in a regional semi?
A: And, that was probably the heartbreak of my career. We were up 2 in the final seconds, and one of their girls (Lani Irwin) banked home a 3 to win it (56-55). That was her only basket in the game, and I guess she’d only scored nine points all season.
Q: How’d that make you feel?
A: Well, it was pretty emotional for the team and to see my career end like that. But there was no one guarding her when she took the shot.
Still, you have to stay positive. I mean, we had a good season (17-8), and I’m so proud of the girls on the team.
Q: Who has inspired you or helped impact your basketball career at Morgan?
A: I would say my family. They’ve been so supportive. I’ve learned from them that you can’t get where you are without a strong work ethic.
And, then, all of my coaches have been huge in my development as a player.
Q: Do you have a favorite basketball player?
A: LeBron James. I respect him a lot. I never saw him play, though, in person when he was in Cleveland.
Q: How about lady players?
A: I’ve seen Kelsey Mitchell play at Ohio State, and she can do it all on the court. She’s playing professionally (Indiana Fever of WNBA), now.
Q: What do you do off the basketball court?
A: Just hang out with my friends. I also like being outdoors.
Q: As a senior, is there anything you’d like to shout out?
A: I want to thank my family, coaches, and teammates, who have been like a family to me. And I’d like to also thank the community for all of their support.
Q: What position did you play in soccer?
A: I was a defender.
Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org