By Jim Ecker
Jarrod Uthoff gets straight A’s at Jefferson, he’s served as class president and he’s determined to keep improving as a basketball player.
That’s why Coach Stu Ordman left Uthoff in a lopsided game against Marion Saturday night. He wanted to give the 6-foot-8 senior a chance to break the school record for most points in a single contest.
The big guy did it.
Uthoff poured in 44 points as the third-ranked J-Hawks topped the Indians, 73-48, at Marion.
Uthoff broke the old Jefferson record of 42 points, set twice by Cam Johnson during the 1988-89 campaign. He snapped Johnson’s mark with a three-point play with 2 minutes left, giving him his 42nd, 43rd and 44th marker with a bucket and free throw.
Jefferson’s assistant coaches told Ordman that Uthoff was getting close to the record, so Ordman elected to keep him in the game with a big lead.
“He has great character,” said Ordman, explaining why he wanted Uthoff to set the mark. “He’s an honor student; I don’t think he’s ever earned less than an A.
“He’s one of our Read-Along mentors, he’s been class president. He’s a very considerate, caring person,” said Ordman. “He’s worked so hard on his game that I think he’s very deserving of the record.”
Uthoff tried to thank his teammates in the semi-privacy of the Jefferson locker room, saluting them for being so unselfish and giving him the ball, but it came out funny and made Uthoff sound selfish by saying he appreciated them being unselfish. They had a good laugh about that.
Uthoff said it better in an interview.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he said, “that my teammates could help me do this by just being unselfish and passing the ball. It’s great.”
Uthoff broke half the record at the foul line, where he went an incredible 22 of 24. His other 22 points came on 11 field goals near the basket. More >>