March 23, 2016

Wojcik making a name

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Jake Wojcik

Bellarmine College Prep guard Jake Wojcik was the only sophomore gracing the West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) First Team honorees this season. This after not even appearing among the Honorable Mentions as a freshman. So why the difference?

Experiencing the WCAL as a freshmen and the physical maturity that took place between his freshman and sophomore year were key factors in his growth as a player. Scoring 31 points, including six treys, in a victory over Valley Christian plus tallying 24 versus Archbishop Mitty in another win provided notice to WCAL coaches as well as fans this season that Wojcik was definitely in the better-prepare-for category of talents.

He is a combo guard as he can play either the point guard or scoring guard position. "I can shoot pretty well," Wojcik modestly offered. His shot is textbook now but it wasn't always that way. "When I was living in Winston-Salem at age 9 (when his father coached at Wake Forest), I really worked on my form, repetitions over and over again. I really didn't shoot threes until I was in high school because I did not want to develop bad habits.”

Despite being the son of a college basketball coach, he played three sports and enjoyed each one. "I loved the contact in football and enjoyed baseball but I decided it was 100% basketball for me when I came to Bellarmine." That was soon after his father Dave became the head coach at San Jose State University.“Basketball is my passion and I grew up always having a ball in my hand.” Wojcik explained. “The dining rooms in our homes growing up always had little tykes hoops instead of tables."

From a young age he could always be found in a gym. “I love hanging around practice with my dad and being around the players. My dad is such a big influence in my life and basketball continues to give us a lot of quality time together.” While it's not accurate that children of coaches automatically morph into basketball savants, "I consider myself as having a pretty good basketball IQ." He studies the game and explained how much he “enjoys watching the Warriors and Spurs play, as well as still playing one-on-one with my father."

What is also unique is that despite the longstanding WCAL rivalry, Wojcik has developed a strong kinship with sophomore Logan Johnson of St. Francis High. "Logan and I are like brothers." That is except for when these two teams oppose each other on the hardwood. They first met while playing for the Top Flight Elite (TFE) travel team program and will play together again this summer. Coach Jamon Osby of TFE said this of his guard: "Jake works really hard on the court and in the classroom. He wants to win and competes so hard. Everything he is doing now isn't surprising because he was dominating over the summer even though he was playing up. Jake understands what he needs to get better at and he's willing to put in the hard work when nobody is watching. He sees plays before they happen and can play a set up, pass first point and as a scoring two guard because he knows when to drive and shoot or drive and kick."

Regarding his future, the 6-foot-3 Wojcik said, “I want to continue to improve his skills, enjoy my teammates and I'm looking forward to playing AAU basketball this summer."