Jake Straughan: A Story of Determination and Motivation

Jake-Straughan
Jake Straughan has accomplished many things on the playing field that would classify him as a special athlete. The Hoop Group Alumni was not only a three sport athlete at Colton High School in Colton, Washington, but he was a key component to each teams’ success throughout his four years there. Playing football, basketball and baseball, Straughan was able to accumulate 12 varsity letters in his high school career while maintaining a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.

On the court, Jake is a point guard with a scorer’s mentality. He possesses the ability to score inside by attacking the hoop, but can also knock down shots from three point range. His mid range game can also hurt the opposition. His accomplishments both on the basketball court and in the classroom earned him a scholarship to the University of Idaho.

On the football field, Jake, a receiver and a quarterback, caught 26 touchdowns, threw for 72 and ran for 37 more while racking up more than 9,000 all purpose yards in four years. On the baseball diamond, Jake was a starting pitcher and shortstop. As a sophomore, playing alongside his brother, Jake helped lead his team to a Washington 1B State Championship. His junior year he went 6-1 as a starter and batted .425 on his way to league MVP. By the end of his junior year, Jake’s statistics and recognitions in all three sports were enough for most athletes to call their career a success. Not Jake, he was far from finished, but he was about to face an obstacle that was much bigger than anything he had come across before.

Athletes face challenges every day in practices and games. In the fall, Jake would experience a new challenge; something that was different from the challenges he had faced during competition. In a playoff football game, Jake suffered a broken leg and for a moment, his mind had to shift from playing to recovering. The healing process took some time and a lot of hard work on Jake’s part, but a little over a month after the injury, Jake was back to working out. A few weeks later, he saw himself back on the court competing alongside his teammates.

During his recovery phase, Jake never let the thought of competing for a state championship leave his mind. He wanted to win one too badly to let this injury be more than a minor setback. As a result, he was able to overcome his obstacle and help his team win the first ever state championship in Colton High School boy’s basketball history.

Jake’s team saw success once Jake made his way back into games, going on a seven game win streak. During that streak Jake was a stat sheet stuffer, averaging 22 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals per game. In the State Tournament, the 6’2 guard continued his tremendous play. He averaged 27 points per game, scored 25 in the Championship and led all scorers in the tournament with 81 points. After the game, Jake was selected as the Washington AP and WIBCA 1B State Player of the Year. He left Colton as the school’s all-time leading scorer, recording 1,505 points along with 512 assists, 417 rebounds and 185 steals.

Leading the basketball team to its first ever state title in the winter created some lofty expectations for Jake and the baseball team come spring time. So, what did he do for an encore? He won another state title on the diamond, of course. Jake went 7-1 as a starting pitcher, batted .575 and drove in 30 RBIs in his senior season. He also pitched a perfect game, retiring every batter that came to the plate. Colton won the state championship in baseball last year by a score of 2-1. Jake struck out 10 in that game and drove in the only two runs for Colton. He was named all league pitcher-shortstop, all league MVP and Player of the State Title game.

Picture via highschoolillustrated.com

Picture via highschoolillustrated.com

Jake’s story of perseverance and motivation is an inspiring one. Recovering from an injury of that magnitude is not an easy task. Some players would have instantly assumed their high school athletic careers were over after suffering a broken leg, but not Jake. Jake never took his eye off the prize: winning a state championship. And nothing, not even a broken leg, was going to prevent him from doing so. We are honored to have a person like Jake be a part of our Hoop Group family and we wish him the best of luck in his future at the University of Idaho and beyond!

For more info on Jake’s story and a full list of his awards and recognitions in high school, click here.

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