Flaggert commits to UTEP for basketball

Jessica Parrott, Sports Editor

To see 6’6” Jake Flaggert walk down the hallway is an experience in it’s own, but seeing him on the basketball court is even better. This senior returned to the school district during his junior year and has been a phenom on the court for the Leopards since.
When most athletes are asked why they love their sport, they do not respond with the honest answer that Flaggert gives.
“I love winning in basketball,” Flaggert said. “Winning and the up-tempo pace are my favorite parts of the game.”
Flaggert’s love for the game started at a young age.

I started playing when I was 7,” he said. “My dad decided to start a team and I immediately fell in love with it.”

Since his humble beginnings Flaggert has been extremely successful.

“I got 5th in the nation in AAU Nationals out of all USA teams and won state in Louisiana in AAU,” Flaggert said. “Also I have gotten All-District freshman, sophomore, and junior year.”

Jake Flaggert in the classroom is extremely different from the Jake Flaggert on the court. Off the court Flaggert is goofy and easy going.

“He’s a really good friend and super funny,” junior teammate Sam Victor said. “He always puts a smile on my face. I think it has a lot to do with the success he has in basketball because he brings good chemistry to the team. Everyone likes him and trusts him with the ball and on defense. I feel like the team can all cooperate well with him.”

Along with his teammates, Flaggert has gained the respect of his head coach, Kyle Herrema.

“You can’t beat Jake’s work ethic,” Herrema said. “Over and over again he comes in 30-45 minutes early to work on his shooting. Off the floor, Jake is a great kid. He gets along with everybody which also makes him a great teammate. People like being around him.”

This fun-loving, Leopard basketball star recently decided that he would take his talents to the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP.

“I had offers from Texas Tech, Pepperdine University, Colorado State University, Long Island University, University of Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana Tech. I ultimately chose UTEP because of the coaching,” Flaggert said. “Also it’s a big basketball school with great competition.”

Going to a Division I school on a scholarship is a huge accomplishment that coaches feel Flaggert has earned.

“Jake is a very athletic player that can really shoot the ball,” Herrema said. “ His pullup jumper is a high Division I caliber tool that is nearly impossible to stop.”

While most players don’t commit to a school before their senior season, Flaggert felt that doing so was the best decision for him.

“I definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play at UTEP,” Flaggert said. “It’s definitely a basketball powerhouse and they have great coaching.”

Flaggert is loved by his teammates on and off the court for his skills and for his personality.

“Jake is such a great teammate on and off the court with an amazing work ethic,” senior Trevor Eckard said. “He dedicates himself completely to the basketball program and everyone looks to him as a role model on how to be successful.”