SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Our fourth finalist for the boys KELOLAND All-Star Player of the Year is Lincoln’s JT Rock, who’s unique frame has helped establish him as one of the top recruits in South Dakota.
Many fans know when JT Rock steps onto the basketball court, thanks to his 7’1″ height.
“I kind of try and impact the game in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet as well as those that do,” Player of the Year finalist JT Rock said.
Thanks to his size, Rock has been able to impact the game in as many ways as possible. That was evident when he first came into high school as a freshman.
Now, two years later, Rock has established himself as one of the top post players in the state.
“I kind of know what’s happening and where it’s happening at. I can kind of see stuff before it happens, a little bit quicker than some other people, because I’ve had that experience of playing at the varsity level,” Rock said.
That experience, paired with his growth, as a player helped Rock earn All-State honors as a junior. The power forward posted 18 points and ten rebounds per game, while also blocking a state high 81 shots.
“He had an incredible junior year. From the beginning of the year, to where he ended up at the state tournament, you could just see the improvement. His physicality grew in each and every game that he played,” Lincoln head coach Jeff Halseth said.
Rock also helped lead the Patriots to a fourth place finish in the class ‘AA’ state tournament, helping him earn a nomination for Player of the Year.
“Getting some recognition for the hard work that I know I’ve put in and it also goes back to my teammates too,” Rock said.
“It shows the rest of the guys on our team that he’s got the work ethic at 7’1″ and it wears off on the other guys and they’re starting to get some work done too. It’s really benefited not only him, but it’s benefited our team quite a bit,” Halseth said.
Rock will play his senior season at Lincoln next year before moving on to play in college at Iowa State.
Our player of the year will be announced in our All-Star special, which airs on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. CT on KELO-TV.