Posted On: 11/27/18 7:42 PM
McLouth 2019 Jonah Willits is one of the state’s most unique players, bringing high energy to the floor and a willingness to do whatever takes to make his team better.
At 5’10, Willits plays with heart and a willingness to battle in the paint against bigger players. He can handle the ball a little on the perimeter, or take the ball into the paint and score buckets against bigger players.
He spent the offseason competing for the Kansas Cagers and says the experience helped him take his game to another level.
“My summer coach taught me a lot of skills i didn’t possess and enhanced the ones I already had,” he says. “Even though I was on a team with a bunch of guys I had never met, I knew the importance of connecting with them.
“It was important to me that they were not only teammates but also brothers. The traveling we did during our summer season allowed us to really bond and develop life long friendships. The summer league experience definitely pushed me to my limits physically and mentally. It has made me smarter mentally, strongly physically and more emotionally mature. I can’t wait to take this growth into my high school season.”
While he doesn’t possess the height of most “big men,” Willits has often had to embrace the role to help his team. He says he was able to utilize the summer to step away from the paint and play more on the perimeter and showcase his ball handling and outside shooting abilities and show that he can also be an effective perimeter player as well.
“This has allowed me to be more versatile all over the floor,” he says.
McLouth is gearing up for a big season as the team features a group of seniors that have played together since they were 6 years old.
“This allows us to have so much flow and less talk and more results,” Willits said. “We are a very athletic group and we have endless heart and grit on our team. We have been told, and our record shows, that we are one of the best teams our school has had in years. We have our eye on a state title and if anyone can get it done it will be this team.”
Willits says his family has had the biggest impact on his basketball caeer to date.
“The support and encouragement of my family is what has always been my driving force in basketball,” he said. “I have had some great coaches and mentors along the way to make my game better and help develop me as a player. But at the end of the day I have this awesome support system in my family and I work hard as a way to say ‘thank you’ for always believing in me.”
Willits says he has been a big fan of Steph Curry since his college days at Davidson before he became the NBA star he is known as now.
“Even now in the NBA I follow his games and really enjoy his style of play,” Willits said. “However, the one player that I have always admired is Frank Mason (former Kansas Jayhawk). He was a little guy making big man moves. He motivated his team and carried himself like a true leader. He did everything for the success of his team and always managed to stay humble.”