By Christina Avina
With a strong passion for school and sports, three boys on the Varsity Boys Basketball team were able to receive the title of being a part of the National Honor Society (NHS), as well as being top of their class. Senior Jonathan Galan and Juniors Jacob Schmidt and Jayden Johnson work vigorously to keep up with schoolwork while dominating on the courts. Previously in December, the three players were awarded for their academic achievements–though Johnson did not join NHS, he qualified.
Galan was first introduced to basketball by his father, who urged him to play at the Bella Vista Recreation Center alongside his older sister. Towards his seventh and eighth grade year of school, basketball started to become more serious as his coaches began to recognize his natural talent. Throughout high school, Galan learned to stay focus on his academics above everything else. Galan stated, “I learned to consistently keep my priorities straight and not pay attention to any distractions.” Over time, he developed the ability to manage his time and stay energized. Becoming a member of NHS was a glorious feeling to Galan, considering the strong efforts he has made to achieve this type of academic success.
From recreational basketball to being apart of the Varsity Boys Basketball team on campus, Schmidt has become a devoted player to basketball since he has improved as a player. He stated, “Each level required more commitment, and the more levels I went up, the more I took the game seriously.” This year has been the most challenging for Schmidt, taking into account that he is a starting player, leading scorer, and is enrolled in four Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Because of his dedication to school, Schmidt takes advantage of the free time he has to complete any work he can. All of his hard work paid off the moment he was accepted into NHS. Schmidt claimed, “It was an amazing feeling to know I was a part of such a select and prestigious group.” With the intentions of continuing his basketball career in college, Schmidt will proceed to strive for nothing but success.
Johnson became infatuated with basketball at a young age. After watching a basketball game, he undertook the sport and discovered his secret talents. Not long after entering high school, Johnson learned that maintaining his school and sport career became difficult. However, no matter how hard school got, Johnson always made the effort to put his academics first. He has moved his way up to being one of the top students of the 2020 class. But due to his unfortunate back injury Johnson is unsure of continuing basketball after high school, despite his strong love for basketball. “Academics will always come first so I try to just take it one day at a time,” said Johnson, “I can always fall back on my brain if basketball doesn’t work out.” Even in the case Johnson ends his athletic career, he has a bright future ahead of him.
These three talented boys not only share the love of the same sport, but they also share dedication to succeed in their academic careers. These Puma athletes have created close relationships with each other on and off the court for many years. And although they are each individually special, together they create a stronger team.