Sports

Cohee set to soar with Redhawks

Walnut Grove
Walnut Grove's Jadon Cohee, who enters Grade 12 next month, has verbally committed to attend Seattle University. Below: Cohee drives the ball to the hoop during the B.C. high school AAA championship game against White Rock Christian Academy, earning touranment MVP honours as the Gators won the title.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Jadon Cohee’s game is going south, but that’s a good thing.

Cohee has verbally committed to attend Seattle University and join the Redhawks basketball program beginning September 2014.

He is entering Grade 12 at Walnut Grove Secondary next month.

The 17-year-old announced his decision via Twitter last week and then formally announced the decision on Tuesday afternoon in the gym at Walnut Grove Secondary in front of his family, friends and teammates.

“It was the right fit,” Cohee explained about his decision.

“I have had a really good bond with the coach for a while.”

“And I thought playing for a point guard would be really good for me to maximize my potential,” Cohee added, referring to Seattle Redhawks coach Cameron Dollar, a former UCLA point guard.

A couple of other factors for Cohee were the fact the Redhawks roster already boasts a pair of B.C. players — Vancouver’s Manroop Clair and Emerson Murray — and the fact Seattle is just a few hours away from home.

The next NCAA signing period is in November, which is when Cohee could sign his National Letter of Intent to attend the university. Until the school receives that signed document, they are not permitted to comment on Cohee.

For his part, Cohee is glad to have the recruiting process over with.

“It was really stressful,” he said. “I would be on the phone for an hour every day talking to coaches.

“It was humbling, but it really got frustrating after a while.”

Cohee said he had interest from about 15 schools and he received two verbal offers. He could have waited to see if more offers came in, but was sold on Seattle.

Both his high school coach — Walnut Grove’s George Bergen — and his summer travel team coach — Drive Basketball Academy’s Pasha Bains — said the Redhawks are getting a good one in Cohee.

“They are getting a very versatile and athletic combo guard,” Bergen said.

“And they are getting a team player. One of his best qualities is he always includes his teammates and loves his teammates.”

“They are getting one of the best B.C. high school players of all time, in my opinion, and a proven winner,” said Bains.

“A real determined, focused kid who is going to be successful just because he has so much passion for the game.”

Cohee played for the senior Gators team when he was in Grade 10, earning a provincial first team all-star in helping the team finish second at the B.C. high school AAA championship. And last season, he was named a first team all-star again and the tournament’s most valuable player as the Gators won the championship.

“He is already so decorated and accomplished but I think the best is yet to come,” Bains said.

“You always knew he was going to be a good player once he grew into his body.”

Cohee has been attending Drive for the past five years.

“He has really good size (six-foot-four) at the point guard position and he almost plays like he is on ice when he does some of his moves, he is that smooth,” Bains said.

“And mentally, he is more determined and focused than any kid we have ever had and I think that is why he has been so successful.”

Cohee has played basketball since he was about five years old, following his father Mike, into the game.

The elder Cohee played Canadian university basketball, helping Concordia win the national championship in 1990.

Jadon Cohee was first featured in the Langley Times in a June 2007 article, when he was 10. In that story, he stated then that his goal was to earn a NCAA scholarship.

“I was always confident I would achieve this if I worked hard and that is what I have been doing,” he said.

“It has basically been my dream since I was a little kid, but this is only the beginning.”

He still has his eye on winning one more provincial championship with Walnut Grove before he embarks on his Division 1 career in Seattle.

“Any time one of the Canadian boys gets a Division 1 school scholarship opportunity, that is a huge accomplishment,” Bergen said.

“And he is going where he will get an opportunity with an up-and-coming program.”

Cohee added that without the support of his parents, Mike and Christine, and his coaches, none of this would have been possible.

“They have always been there for me,” he said.

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