Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jon Kohler- Jump-Shots? Lay-Ups? He'll Take Free Throws, Thank You

The Scotties of Bordentown High School (NJ) were the victors in the final game of the 2008 Prime Time Shootout. Led by Jon Kohler, the Scotties defeated the Abington Friends (PA) Kangaroos. Of the 12 members on the Bordentown squad this year, Kohler was one of the team's six years, who made up half the team. Jon is a 6'3 swingman, and he had an impressive game in the win over the Kangaroos. I caught up with Kohler after the last game of the 2008 event.

NB: You shot 20 of 25 at the line. . . . How were you able to maintain focus throughout the game and knock down all those free throws?
JK:I just think it’s easier than going and making a lay-up or a jump-shot, because you get calm down and relieve yourself before you head to the line. I just think [that] I just calmed myself every time, and . . it’s hard with the depth perception with this court. . . . The coach told us that before, to start inside and then come out. I just decided not to really shoot, just try to get to the hole, and I was getting fouled, but I wasn’t finishing, but I was getting to the line.

NB: [Your team] had full control of this game from start to finish. How were you able to play so well on this stage?
JK: With us right now with the team that we have, . . . one night we’ll come out full blast like we did tonight and another we’ll lose to one of the worst teams, and it just the days that we bring it, the days [that] we have the most energy and work as a team, that’s when we pull out the W all the time.

NB: What does it mean for you and the rest of the team to play at the Prime Time Shootout?
JK: Well, it’s been marked on our calendar to come here, the whole team was psyched about it all day long. I was all day yesterday and all day today up until we had to go back to the school to get on the bus to come here. It’s just a wonderful accomplishment to be able to come here, and to get MVP honors it’s even better.

NB: How big is it to get the win?
JK: That’s even bigger. Right now [on 2/10/08] we’re 14 and 7, heading into the tournament, and we have a big game against Paul Robeson next Saturday for the Scholastic Play-by-Play. Hopefully this [will] just carry on to the state tournament.

NB: What’s your outlook for the rest of the year, including that state tournament?
JK: State championship obviously, but if not, we have other goals, just to have a winning season, just to have fun, it’s our senior year, it’s what we all worked [towards] for four years, and we just got to make the best of it.

NB: You mentioned it being senior year. Have you gotten any interests from colleges?
JK: I got a full [scholarship] offer from Dominican [University], which is a DII school in New York, and [LIU] CW Post is supposed to offer pretty soon, I talked to my coach a little bit. Other than that, it’s just DIII: Rowan, Widener, and Stockton.

NB: What school is at the top of your list right now?
JK: I really don’t have one, I’m not really focusing [on that] right now. I’m just going to wait until the end of the season, and see what else comes my way.

Shooting 20 for 25 at the free throw line is an impressive feat at any level, but a high schooler doing it makes it that much more astounding. Kohler's free throw percentage of 80% against Abington Friends was his team's key to victory. Jon's display at the line was the prime reason why Bordentown was able to push its win percentage to .667 after getting the W. If Kohler's free throw shooting is indicative of his overall talent as a basketball player, he will certainly be a good fit on a college team, and he will definitely be some one that a coach can put in as time is winding down to get to the stripe and put the game away.

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