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At the beginning of their season, the Grant County High School boys’ basketball team set a goal of reaching 16 to 18 wins.
Although they reached 19 wins, the seniors wish they had totaled at least 20 and advanced past Owen County in the first round of the region tournament.
“It was our expectation to get to the region tournament,” Caleb Kinmon said. “It was great to play in an environment like that. We’ve always been told that we had the potential to be a good team. We had to believe in ourselves.”
“I still wish we could have gone farther, but it was still a good time,” Kody Thompson said. “We had the talent to get there and we proved that we could play some ball.”
They may have wanted to continue playing, but the seniors know that they helped rejuvenate Grant County basketball, injecting it with excitement and anticipation for future years.
“All through high school, we were the underdogs,” Jared Livingood said. “This year, we proved we could play with teams like Simon Kenton and Shelby County. Teams were gunning for us. We were used to being on the bottom of the bracket, so this year was a good experience to be on the top.”
“It means a lot to have a good season,” Sean Henry said. “I enjoyed every bit of it. Every practice and every game.”
“I still want to see the program do well, even though we’re done now. We’ve got a lot of talent coming in after us and I expect them to continue to do well,” Kinmon said.
The seniors have played together since seventh grade, developing their game on the court and their friendships off the court.
“It’s been such a blast playing with these guys,” Thompson said. “Now that it’s over, it’s kind of like what do we do now. Walking into the gym and knowing that we’re not going to play for Grant County anymore, it’s a shock and a different feeling than anything I’ve ever experienced. But I wouldn’t have wanted to go through it with anyone else.”
“There’s nothing like high school basketball,” Kinmon said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. Practices were even fun.”
The four seniors also have advice for those that will one day wear Grant County’s colors.
“Don’t wait until your senior year to give it your all. Start early and make it a point to prove how good Grant County is,” Henry said.
“Enjoy it while it lasts,” Thompson said. “Love what you’re doing.”
“Work hard and enjoy playing basketball,” Livingood said. “Don’t get caught up in the hype of wins and losses.”
“Don’t get caught up in winning so much that you don’t have fun. You have to have fun. That’s why you play the game,” Kinmon said.
Now that their seasons are over, the foursome have been forced to move on, but they will always remember how close they’ve become and the memories they’ve made together.
“I’m going to remember the long hours with these guys,” Thompson said. “We’ve built a family. We put in a lot of hard work, but we had a lot of fun too.”
“The friends are what have made it was it is. Having us seniors that have been together since seventh grade, it’s been a lot of fun,” Henry said. “I’ve been with them everyday through school, after school and sometimes on the weekends. It’s all about doing what you love and having fun doing it.”
Kody Thompson - “Going to Fort Lauderdale was a blast. Getting away and spending time with everybody was a lot of fun.”
Caleb Kinmon - “My dunk against Simon Kenton in the district tournament was a personal favorite memory. Even though we lost, it helped comfort me a little bit.”
Jared Livingood - “I liked the practice we had freshman year when our coach was running late and we ordered pizza. He got there and we started practice, but the delivery guy showed up in the middle of practice and we had to stop to pay him. We had to pay for it by running, but it was still funny.”
Sean Henry - “One of my favorite memories was going to Murray State University and playing 14 games in two days. We all had a good time and we beat teams that people expected us to lose by 30. That was going into freshman year and that’s when I started to turn the corner and became a better ball player than I was.”