Athlete of the Week: Sam Goretzke

Sam Goretzke, senior, shoots from beyond the arc at practice.

Gabi Baker

Sam Goretzke, senior, shoots from beyond the arc at practice.

Ryan Davidson, sports writer

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Sam Goretzke, senior forward, redefined his role on the KHS varsity basketball team last week, as he put up 17 points in a 65-51 road loss at Lafayette and 27 at home in a 78-53 rout over Ritenour.

“He has been a leader for the team. He’s really picked up his aggressiveness and has been attacking the basket off the dribble and knocking down a lot of shots,” Bill Gunn, varsity head coach, said.

As a junior, Goretzke was limited to a bench presence and the occasional second half appearance, but this year he has developed into a versatile player and vital asset to the team. Gunn credits Goretzke’s vast improvement to his outstanding work ethic and attitude.

“I think the big thing is he has a great attitude and he’s worked really, really hard on the court and in the weight room, and I think that all of his hard work is paying off on the court for him this year,” Gunn said.

Goretzke has had to expand his abilities on the court this season, and has even had to play a little out of position, according to Gunn. A natural shooter, Goretzke has widened his role to rebounding and defending post players too. His knowledge of the game allows him to greatly benefit the team defensively and offensively, through both passing and shooting.

Goretzke is not such a valuable piece to the team due to his 6 foot 4 frame or his understanding of basketball, but more because of his confidence and willingness to improve his skills.

“I think confidence is always key and I think that the hard work has allowed him, with this year as he’s gained experience, to be a confident player, and I think in the second half of the year [those traits have] really allowed him to flourish,” Gunn said.

Perhaps Goretzke’s most important trait, though, is his thirst for victory. Whether it means being a defensive wall or a perimeter presence, he is up for the challenge as long as it helps his team.

“All I really care about is trying to win, so I do anything I can,” Goretzke said.