If Jack Curtis were to describe himself as a basketball player, he would say that he’s hard working, he does anything that he can for his team, and he will do what it takes to win, within reason, of course. That’s pretty much how others describe him as well.
“He’s a good athlete. He’s pretty skilled, handles the ball really well. He understands what we’re trying to do offensively and defensively,” Evergreen head coach Scott Haebe said of the 6-foot-2 senior guard. “He’s one of those guys that when he’s on the court we’re a better team. It’s not because he’s scoring points but because he’s getting rebounds, getting steals, leading the offense, taking a charge. When he’s not on the floor, we’re not as good.”
Well, that being said, Curtis should see plenty of court time this year. He has to. Evergreen graduated four of its top five scorers from the 2012-13 season, including Andre Lane. Lane was the catalyst for the Cougars’ success last season, averaging 17.3 points per game as Evergreen went 17-8, 11-3 in the 4A Jeffco League. The Cougars reached the Sweet 16 of the 4A state tournament before bowing out to eventual state champion Lewis-Palmer.
Curtis averaged just 3.6 points per game on last year’s senior-laden squad, but it was the little things that made him so valuable. His 59 rebounds last season are the most by any returning player. He also had 39 assists and 31 steals. Only Nathan Haas, with 48 assists and 36 steals, had more than any player back from last year’s squad.
Where Curtis may make the most impact this season could be in the post. Evergreen can shoot the 3-pointer, he said, and he believes he can get to the rim to snatch any necessary rebounds.
“I think that makes us that much more dynamic,” Curtis said.
But it all may start with the enthusiasm that Curtis brings to the floor, Haebe said.
“Jack’s definitely a great leader,” Haebe said. “He’s the quarterback on the football team, so he’s used to that leadership position. Jack brings a lot of energy to the team. He’s not a guy who is going to score 20 points a game, but he rebounds well, and he plays good defense. He kind of energizes the guys. He gets them pumped up.”
There are things that Curtis needs to work on, such as free-throw shooting. He was just 14-of-44 (32 percent) in 2012-13. And, overall, there will be areas where the guard-heavy Cougars will have to step up to take advantages of mismatches. The Cougars won’t be the tallest of teams on the floor, but if they’re physical, Curtis said, they can make up for that.
“As long as we’re aggressive in getting to the rim, the lack of size won’t really affect us,” he said. “We’ll have to work harder. We can’t rely just on agility to get the rebounds for us.”
Fortunately for Evergreen, working hard is something that Jack Curtis does quite well.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.
Height/position: 6-foot-2, guard
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite athlete: Ty Lawson
Favorite sports team: Denver Broncos
What’s on your iPod? “Mostly country.”
Where do you hope to be in 10 years? “I hope to have a successful job and hopefully a family.”