Athlete of the Week: Jo Schoen

Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: taxonomy_term in similarterms_taxonomy_node_get_terms() (line 518 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in similarterms_list() (line 221 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in similarterms_list() (line 222 of /home/octimesherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
Oconto Falls senior wants to walk off court with no regrets

Jo Schoen is hoping to help the Oconto Falls boys basketball team finish off the season strong. (Contributed photo)

Athlete: Jo Schoen

Sport: Boys Basketball

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Senior

For some athletes, high school will represent the last time in their life they will get to play a sport they love. Oconto Falls senior Jo Schoen is hoping to make his final basketball season his best one yet and help his team find success along the way.

Along with providing leadership for the Panthers, Schoen also offers strong shooting from the perimeter and isn’t afraid to turn up the defensive pressure. In the team’s last game, a 68-62 loss to Oconto on Dec. 21, he scored 13 points despite battling an ankle injury.

Q: When did your interest in basketball begin?

A: My interest in basketball began when I was around 4 years old. My mother would buy my three brothers and I basketballs, and we would all dribble around the house. From there I started to play against my brothers in the driveway, and after realizing I really enjoyed the game I started playing in hoops club.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a basketball game or the basketball season?

A: My favorite part about a basketball game is playing in front of loved ones. It’s always a pleasure being able to step out onto the court and see people cheering for you and wishing the best for you. The basketball season however, my favorite part is the bus rides after games. I’ve got a very rowdy friend group, and we love to goof around after games. The bus rides back are always adventurous.

Q: What is your biggest individual goal this season and how do you plan to reach it?

A: My biggest individual goal this season is to go out and give everything I have every single game. I’m a senior, and this will be my last season playing organized competitive basketball. I don’t want to leave the game with any sort of regrets on how I played. I plan to reach it by simply hustling on every end of the floor and helping my team succeed in any way possible.

Q: What kind of things does the team need to keep working on to finish off the season strong?

A: We as a whole need to keep working on our competitive drive. We’ve lost a bit of the toughness we had last season and we just have to find that edge in order to be successful moving forward.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Oconto Falls basketball team?

A: My favorite memory would be last season when we won our first round playoff game against Fox Valley Lutheran and had to go play against Xavier the next game. Xavier’s gym was packed with fans from both schools, and it was awesome being able to play in such a high intensity atmosphere. It was the most people I’ve played in front of while being a part of Oconto Falls basketball.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?

A: I start off with usually eating at Subway and doing a light stretch before the game. I put my earbuds in and listen to sad or more mellow music. For some reason, they get me more amped up to play. Then as we run out onto the court, I’m always last in line. That pretty much sums up my ritual.

Q: What serves as your motivation when playing basketball?

A: People have thought of Oconto Falls basketball as a joke for so long and no teams ever take us seriously. What motivates me is knowing the other team thinks that we have no chance of beating them, yet we are going to go out and give it everything we have to walk out of the gym with a win. It’s like an underdog mentality and feeling more driven to go out and prove you’re not an underdog.

Q: Do you look up to any particular athletes? If so, why them?

A: I’ve always been huge fans of Larry Bird and Manu Ginobili. They are very technical basketball players who have perfected foot work. They have shown that speed isn’t always the best quality to have. And whenever I can watch a highlight tape of Larry Bird taking over basketball games, I always take that opportunity. They always play with a chip on their shoulder, and that is something I want to do when I am out on the court.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: I love to play PlayStation with my brothers and friends. Whether it’s NBA 2K or Fortnite, we are always on playing something. Another one of my favorite activities is going ice skating during the winter with my girlfriend. I’m a bit rusty, but I’m slowly turning into a pro.

Q: Favorite TV show, movie and musical artist?

A: My favorite TV show is “The Office.” I think I’ve watched every season three times over. My favorite movie is one from my childhood called “The Iron Giant.” I’ll still watch it to this day when I’ve got time to waste. Favorite musical artist is Khalid. I listen to a lot of his songs, especially before basketball games.

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: Not a lot of people know that in middle school I was in the spelling bee for two years in a row. Each of those times I was eliminated in the first round because of forgetting one letter each time. My friends like to give me a hard time about it and it’s just funny to go over old times like that.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was from my father. He is always telling me not to worry about what everyone else is doing and to only focus on what I can do to be a better individual. He also told me to make the most out of basketball while I’m in it because I don’t know what the future holds. What matters is the present and what you make of it.