March 20, 2015

Killingsworth a good fit

Kevin McCarthy

Sun Tzu offered, “know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” At his young age, Jake Killingsworth knows what he can and cannot do on the court. Playing for Coach Chuck Rapp provides the knowledge about opponents and this combination is leading to the Serra High program epitomizing the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

photo of Jake Killingsworth

“I'll never be the most athletic kid on the court,”Killingsworth forthrightly explained. “But my basketball IQ is very high, I see the court well, [envision] where the ball will go next and know how to be in the right place at the right time.”

The 6-foot-5, 190 Second Team All-West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) honoree grew up around basketball—“"My Mom played at Georgia on scholarship”—and he's definitely a fan of Rapp. “He knows what he's talking about and always has a new set to put in. It's incredible not only the way he coaches us but how he breaks down the opponent. It's so detailed.” Serra concluded its season in the state regional semi-finals with a 23-6 overall record this season and posted a 12-3 mark in the WCAL.

A 2016 prospect whose previously lived in Georgia and Arkansas, Killingworth also credits his earlier mentors. “I had a couple of very good coaches in elementary school and sixth and seventh grade. They taught me how to play.” Those being Shane Austin in Georgia and Ron Crawford and his son Keith, in Arkansas.

Then there is “both my parents. They don't miss a game and know what they are talking about.”

So what does Killingsworth see as the element he is working on the most to improve? “Being stronger with the ball. Consistently bringing the ball up with a lot of confidence.”

At one point a three-sport athlete, it's strictly basketball now. “I played football for a couple of years but it just didn't click.” However, “This year is the first year since the first grade with no baseball.”

Killingsworth sees changes in his game since entering high school. "Yes, big time. I had the opportunity to play varsity as a freshman and be a starter but it was a big leap from eighth grade. The game was super fast but each year I've been progressing. I'm more in control of everything but I still need to work on every aspect of my game.”

He isn't certain about a college major as yet but he's well prepared. “Academics is big. I have over a 4.0 [grade point average] and take multiple AP courses.”

How he came to attend Serra is a telling story, one that college coaches should bear in mind.“It was a very measured decision,” Killingsworth explained. “My Mom was being transferred out here so we did a lot of research on every WCAL school and schools in the surrounding area. I made some visits and did some shadowing.” He became sold on Serra.

Lakeshow is the team Killingsworth will be running with this spring and summer. Here's Coach Joey Fuca: “Jake's super competitive with an incredible work ethic and a winner. He's a knockdown shooter who can read a play. He needed 20 stitches in a recent game against Mitty and came back to play [three days later] with a wrap around his head and made the winning free throws.”

Yes, if anyone doubts that Killingsworth possesses something special, read on: Serra trailed St. Francis 38-37 in the recent CCS Open Division championship contest. Six tenths of a second showed on the clock as he was fouled. Three free throws later the Padres had a two point lead and the victory. This after a pair of regular season losses to the Mountain View crew.