Abington Heights’ senior J.C. Show has piled up awards for his exploits on the basketball court, but whenever asked about his successes he always stresses the importance of his teammates and coaches.
Along with winning the first-ever Mr. PA Basketball Award in May, Show was also named the 2014 Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year in March.
“It was a nice way to bring everything together,” Show said. “I may have received an award, but I want to really make sure that it doesn’t go just to me. I want to make sure that I give attention to and reflect credit on my teammates and coaches because you win and lose as a team, and accolades are achieved as a team. It would not have been possible if it weren’t for the people that were surrounding me.”
After eclipsing David Doino’s school record of 1,847 points during a District 2 Class AAA playoff game in March, Show was also quick to point out their importance.
“It’s a humbling experience,” he said. “I’m just thankful to have been able to do it with the teammates and coaches I’ve had.”
Described by his high school coach Ken Bianchi as a “born leader,” Show will continue his academic and athletic careers at Division I Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in the fall.
Scranton Prep head basketball coach, Andrew Kettel, has known Show for nearly 10 years and worked with and against him through AAU basketball and summer camps.
That didn’t make stopping the sharpshooter any easier in the team’s two meetings this season.
“Guys like J.C. Show don’t come around too often,” Kettel said. “He’s a special caliber of player.”
After Scranton Prep took the Comets to overtime in their first matchup of the season on Jan. 4, Kettel had a feeling that Show would have a spectacular showing in the next contest a month later.
He did, nearly outscoring the Cavaliers by himself with a game-high 42 points.
“Going into the second game, I think he realized that the first time we could have won the game,” Kettel said. “When he walked into the gym that night, he wasn’t going to allow us to beat them.
“We tried to watch film, show guys his tendencies, and put our best athletes against him defensively. We knew that we had to know where he was on the floor at all times and that it would take a team effort to defend him alone.”
According to Kettel, Show’s best trait is his ability and willingness to adapt to different situations to help his team.
“The most impressive thing about J.C was that he would take on any role needed to help his team win,” he said. “If the team needed him to step up and score 40 points, he did. When he needed to get his teammates more involved, he did, and when, defensively, he needed to shut down the opponent’s best player, he did.
“I look forward to watching him play in college, but I’m not going to miss him in the Lackawanna League.”
The South Abington Twp. resident also starred as a member of the football team, as a wide receiver and quarterback on offense and a safety on defense.
While both the basketball and football teams experienced a lot of success during Show’s career, the hoops team won three straight district championships and the football team advanced to the state playoffs twice, it’s the relationships and memories that he cherishes most.
“The coaches invested time into us as people more so than they did trying to get us to put a ball into the hoop as many times as we can,” Show said. “It was so much more than basketball, and I’m learning that even now that I’m done playing. I still keep in touch with the football and basketball coaches. It’s about pouring your heart into those relationships. That’s what makes it so worthwhile.”
Show struggled with giving up football, but is committed to dedicating himself fully to becoming the best basketball player possible.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make,” he said. “Up until the day I committed to Bucknell, I was entertaining the option of football as well. To think that I’m not going to be getting ready for a season this August is going to be tough. I’m not ruling it out later on in my life, but right now I’m just getting ready to play a college basketball season.”
Show couldn’t help but imagine his future team being a part of March Madness while watching NCAA Tournament games over the years and is excited to begin his college career.
“I’m looking forward to everything that goes along with the experience,” he said. “The games, the practices, the grind, the struggles, the ups and downs…I can’t wait to be part of the team and get those competitive juices flowing again. We’re all going to be there for one purpose. I’m most looking forward to the relationships and friendships that I’m going to build.”