Posted On: 02/6/18 5:00 AM

Junior season at Whitmer High School has gone according to plan for 6’5” wing/forward Eddie Colbert (2019). This offseason, the writing was on the wall for Colbert to have a breakout.

“We had three seniors that left. So it was my job to pick up where they left off,” Colbert said in reference to Derrick Rayford Jr. (Motlow State), Avion Franklin (Defiance), and Nick Witcher (Iowa Central football).

In those months off, he worked harder than in summers passed in preparation for the added responsibility. Some of those hours were spent with All Ohio Black during the grassroots season. He told us he may return to play with them in the upcoming summer, or switch to the Michigan Mustangs.

Regardless of AAU affiliation, Colbert’s game is only going to continue to grow. While he’s currently relied upon for rebounding and finishing for the 15-3 Panthers, Colbert hopes to expand his skills in the coming months.

“I’m trying to move out to the perimeter because I might stop growing, I might not. So I got to be prepared to play on the outside,” Colbert said. Specifically, he’d like to grow in the areas of “dribbling and court-vision.”

The urgency to improve as a perimeter wing is partially to become a more appealing college prospect, as his only interest to speak of is a camp invitation from Montclair State.

Colbert’s goal for the summer is to build recruitment, but senior year with Whitmer is also important — so important that it’s hard for Colbert not to look ahead.

“I’m really looking forward to next season because we’ll be better than where we are now. We’ll all be seniors and we’ll come out way stronger than what we did this year,” Colbert said.

Along with Colbert (the team’s leading scorer and rebounder), classmates Trey Syroka, Leon Hughes, and Aeron Evans make up their quartet of playmakers and defensive stoppers. Dual-sport sophomore star Riley Keller is the final piece, making for an entire lineup of defensively flexible players that can handle, pass, and shoot.

With graduation hitting rival St. John’s hard while Whitmer will escape June without losing anyone, expect the Panthers to be tough to stop in 2018-19. Tonight, the two schools play for the second time this season. Colbert let us in on their keys to the game.

“We got to stop Vincent Williams and Houston King from scoring the ball and doing what they do best. So we’ve got to go into that game and lock them down with everybody else. And just score the ball, and we will win,” Colbert said.

Although he’s yet to take the ACT, Colbert carries a 3.0 GPA in the classroom.

photo: Whitmer Athletic Club