Sports

‘Slick’ Cohee turns some heads

Walnut Grove Gators’Jadon Cohee drives to the hoop during the Langley District junior boys’ championship game at the Langley Events Centre back in February.The 14-year-old Grade 9 student returned from Toronto where he was invited to attend tryouts for Canada’s cadet U16 national team.  - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Walnut Grove Gators’Jadon Cohee drives to the hoop during the Langley District junior boys’ championship game at the Langley Events Centre back in February.The 14-year-old Grade 9 student returned from Toronto where he was invited to attend tryouts for Canada’s cadet U16 national team.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Off the basketball court, Jadon Cohee is like most teenagers his age: bright, but lazy.

His coach this past season with the Walnut Grove Gators junior boys’ basketball team, Jon Fast, doesn’t mean it as a slight.

“He is a very jubilant-natured person,” Fast described. “Very sociable.”

“But when he steps onto the basketball court, he has the ability to turn up the intensity, which is the quality I admire the most.

“He knows when it is time to compete.”

Growing up, Cohee has been used to playing at higher age levels.

And more often than not, the 14-year-old has been used to having his way on the court, whether the competition was his own age, or at a level higher.

He attended Canada’s cadet (U16) national team camp over the weekend in Toronto, but while he didn’t make the final roster, it was a valuable learning experience.

“I learned I can compete with anyone in Canada,” he said. “And my goal next year is to make it.”

Cohee was one of the younger players at the camp.

“He certainly showed flashes of a special talent,” said Roy Rana, the coach of the Canadian cadet team. “(But) as with most players his age, he has got to string together the consistency he needs at this level.”

In his estimation, offensively and defensively, Cohee acquitted himself quite well at the camp.

But ultimately, he said the Canadian coaching staff said he needed to improve his decision making, something they figure will come with age, as well as adding some bulk to his six-foot-two, 163-pound frame.

Despite the positive comments, and not expecting to make the final roster, Cohee said he was still disappointed at himself.

“That caught me off guard, but (the coaches) know a lot so I am going to listen to their advice,” he said, adding he didn't expect to make the final roster.

“From everyone I spoke to, he showed really well,” said Pasha Bains, who has coaches Cohee for the past three years at the Drive Basketball Academy. “He impressed, especially being one of the younger guys.”

“He has always had the talent, but in the past year and a half, his game has really blossomed,” Bains added. “He has taken a big leap forward.

Bains figures for Cohee’s age group, he is one of the most talented kids across the country.

“He is a very slick player; he can move his body really well in the air,” he said.

Fast agrees and says Cohee has vast potential.

“Jadon has the most potential I have seen in all my years of coaching and playing,” Fast said. “He loves the game, he works so hard at it, and he is fortunate enough to have very supportive parents.

“Jadon will go as far as he wants to.”

Not making the team will only fuel Cohee to work harder this summer, especially as he gears up for the next challenge, playing senior ball with the Gators as a Grade 10 student.

“I have played up (a level) for pretty much my whole life, I like the challenge,” he said, adding that his parents always taught him to aim high. “My goal is to be the best player.

“I know it is hard, but I feel if I work hard, I can do it.”

While he plays both guard positions, Cohee enjoys playing the point most.

“You get to control the whole game, you are like the coach on the floor, it is fun,” he described.

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