Sophomore ready for big role inside
At 6-foot-6, Basehor-Linwood High School sophomore Jacob Schierbaum towers over most of his classmates. For the sake of the BLHS basketball team, it's unfortunate that there aren't more students there who could look him in the eye without craning their necks.
Though only a sophomore, Schierbaum is the lone returning post player from last year's varsity squad. He'll be one of the players counted on to fill the void left by last year's seniors, including 6-foot-4 Nick Box and 6-foot-5 Joel Vandervelde.
"He's our inside guy," BLHS coach Mike McBride said. "He needs to get a little more strength to him, but I'll tell you what he does do; he does post up well, he catches the ball extremely well, he runs the floor extremely well and he passes the ball out of the post about as well as anybody."
The fall football program listed Schierbaum at 188 pounds, but those numbers can be deceiving and he looks a bit thinner than that. Regardless, he said he knows that strength is a concern and has been working on it in the off-season. It will be a key for him, as he will be expected to hold his own in the post and make up some of the rebounding of Vandervelde and Box.
Being the tallest player on the basketball team tends to bring a little added pressure from the school and the community, which might be unfair to place on the shoulders of someone who's still a sophomore. But, according to McBride, Schierbaum is learning to handle that pressure and take it as a compliment.
"I'm not sure he's handled it great yet, he's kind of backed off a little at times," McBride said. "I think he's finally starting to handle it. He really shouldn't take it as a downside because he can run. You know, a lot of big guys are uncoordinated at that age...he does a lot of things kids his size can't do."
Schierbaum said there were other post players who he expected to step up and take some of the pressure off him as the season went on. He said there would be some challenges getting used to everyone's style of play with all the turnover on the roster, but having McBride around for a full off-season would help ease the transition.
"We all know the offense better, we all hit the weight room harder," Schierbaum said. "We learned most of what we need to know during the summer, instead of last year, when he had to teach us everything."