Evans High School’s Jacob Buchanan never played organized sports until he found basketball in the fifth grade.
“I wasn’t really an athletic person, I was more of a nerd,” he said. “My friends were playing it. I had tried other sports but I had quit them all. I was like, ‘I’m not gonna quit this time.’ And then I just started playing more and more and eventually really loved it.”
Now, seven years later, Buchanan is a senior and the starting forward on the Knights basketball team, one of its top returnees and one of its leaders.
Evans head coach Kevin Kenny said Buchanan put in the time to get to that position.
“He’s probably the hardest working kid in the county,” Kenny said. “In the last four years he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s improved every single year.”
Buchanan doesn’t always need people around to get work done.
“Sometimes I just love being in the gym by myself just shooting around, working on my game,” he said. “I just love being in the gym.”
Buchanan likes the challenge presented on a daily basis.
“Competition is one thing I really love,” Buchanan said. “I love playing great teams. Personally, the better the team, the more prepared, the more focused – I think – the better I play.”
The Knights must have played some decent teams in 2011-12. Buchanan averaged just under 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He wants to boost those numbers a little, but his primary focus is on the team.
“The main goal for me is to make state playoffs, win a region championship and win 20 games,” Buchanan said. “Probably the most important would be winning the region championship.”
While he likes scoring, he is more defensive-minded.
“Defense you probably have to work harder,” said Buchanan, who added he wants to lead the area in taking charges this year. “Also I love rebounding, boxing out, fighting for the ball, being physical.”
He doesn’t have a set profession in mind, but Buchanan would like to attend college and has already been accepted to Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He hasn’t made a decision to attend Mercer and is keeping his options open.
“If I went to a smaller school, if a coach gave me a chance, or a scholarship or gave me a chance to walk on, that would make me more likely to go to the school,” Buchanan said.