Athlete of the Week: Jake Owens

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Athlete of the Week: Jake Owens

Junior Jake Owens has been playing basketball at La Salle since his freshman year.

Junior Jake Owens has been playing basketball at La Salle since his freshman year.

Luke Thompson

Junior Jake Owens has been playing basketball at La Salle since his freshman year.

Luke Thompson

Luke Thompson

Junior Jake Owens has been playing basketball at La Salle since his freshman year.

Luke Thompson, Staff Reporter

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Junior Jake Owens not only juggles the responsibility of school, but he also plays basketball for La Salle in the winter and on a club team during the spring and summer, all while maintaining a 3.6 GPA so far this semester.

Owens dedicates all his time to basketball and currently doesn’t play any other sports. “I’ve played my whole life so it’s kind of been a part of what I do and then [I] just stopped playing other sports and just played year-round basketball,” he said.

Last year, as a sophomore, Owens joined the varsity team. By the end of the season he was earning 20 to 25 minutes of playing time.“I got all conference recognition from the rest of the coaches in [our] league,” he said. “Coming into this year, I knew I had to step up.”

After six seniors departed from last year’s team, players like Owens stepped up to take their place. “I’d say I’m a leader,” Owens said. “I lead breaks, and [I] was a captain of our game last week.”

Owens is confident in the team’s prospects for the rest of this season. “I think we’re going to the coliseum for the final eight,” he said.

On Dec. 4, the team had their first preseason game. They defeated Central 50-36. “It took us a little bit to kind of get the feel of [playing with] each other because we lost [six] guys last year,” Owens said. “Once we got the feel of each other we just ruled [and] it was super fun.”

When La Salle basketball isn’t in season, Owens plays for P.U.S.H., a club team based in Vancouver, Washington. P.U.S.H. stands for passion, unity, servanthood, and humanity. “[The program is] filled with kids from all over,” Owens said. “There [are] kids from Southern Oregon, Washington and [during] one tournament we had a kid from Las Vegas.”

Off the court, Owens’ best class is Algebra 2. The work he puts into his math class is similar to the dedication he has for basketball. “I like math because I can find answers and know that they’re right,” he said. “If you don’t put the time [into math], you’re not going to get answers, so the same thing [goes for basketball].”

Owens values his teachers when they help him succeed. “I tend to want to learn better if I know that the teacher kind of has my back, or if they spend extra time helping [me],” said Owens.

He is also appreciative of the work La Salle coaches put in to make him a better player. “I’d say all the coaches at La Salle have been a mentor to me,” Owens said. “Andrew Yoshihara, who [also] works here, he’s been someone that I’ve looked up to for the last two years. He’s always had my back.”

Recently, Owens has been spending a few hours on Sundays at Bustin’ Barriers, which is a charity group that gives kids with disabilities, from third grade through high school, a chance to play sports. Owens has volunteered there for the last year and a half. “[I] volunteer from 12 to 3,” he said. “[The activities] range from playing fun games like parachute [to] Duck, Duck, Goose… [to] soccer scrimmages.”