Let it fly

Ch­ester­ton for­ward Jake Wadding in­tends to find the 3-point line and let it fly

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - Front Page - Mike Hut­ton mhut­ton@post-trib.com Twit­ter @MikeHut­tonPT

Ju­nior for­ward Jake Wadding has re­tooled his game to in­clude a 3-point shot af­ter av­er­ag­ing 13.5 points for the Ch­ester­ton boys bas­ket­ball team last sea­son.

Jake Wadding is go­ing to shoot 3-point­ers this sea­son.

“I don’t think I ever shot a 3-pointer in mid­dle school,” the Ch­ester­ton ju­nior said. “I want to add to my game.”

Wadding is like a pair of Chuck Taylor sneak­ers.

His game is old school.

In an era when high school coaches talk about five-tool play­ers and of­ten refuse to de­fine po­si­tions, the 6-foot-4 Wadding was a true power for­ward/cen­ter.

He at­tempted one 3-pointer as a fresh­man and 11 last sea­son.

Wadding was so crafty around the bas­ket that a 3point shot wasn’t nec­es­sary. The Tro­jans had other play­ers, like Ky Palom­bizio and Austin Peter­son, who took those shots.

Be­sides, he was un­selfish and an ex­cel­lent passer. The team could clear out for him and Wadding could score driv­ing to the bas­ket­ball.

His post moves run in the fam­ily.

His fa­ther, Jody Wadding, a 1985 Lake Sta­tion grad­u­ate, was a 6-foot power for­ward when Gary Hayes coached the Ea­gles.

It was a dif­fer­ent time.

Jody said he might’ve had to play against some­one who was 6-5 or 6-6, but most of the guys he guarded weren’t that big.

It’s the same con­cept, though.

Jody Wadding learned the game in his neigh­bor­hood against older, big­ger guys. They taught him how to play in­side. It never changed.

“I passed some of those post moves onto Jake,” he said. “I’m nowhere as good or as ath­letic as he is.”

Jake Wadding played in­side through ele­men­tary and mid­dle school be­cause he was al­ways the big­gest kid.

But he has only grown an inch since his fresh­man sea­son.

The move to add the ex­tra el­e­ment to his game is nec­es­sary for a cou­ple of rea­sons.

Palom­bizio and Peter­son are gone. The Tro­jans need shoot­ers.

And there aren’t a lot of 6-4 power for­wards play­ing Divi­sion I col­lege bas­ket­ball.

Jake Wadding has the ath­leti­cism to make a move to col­lege. At what level is still to be de­ter­mined.

Wadding is an ex­cel­lent ball han­dler. He was a matchup night­mare for most teams be­cause it was hard to stay in front of him and he was so ac­tive around the bas­ket.

Ch­ester­ton coach Marc Ur­ban said Wadding, who av­er­aged 13.5 points, 6.9 re­bounds and 3.3 as­sists, is good “be­cause he al­ways made the right de­ci­sions.” Wadding shot 61 per­cent from the field.

Ur­ban be­lieves, in terms of col­lege in­ter­est, that Wadding is “fly­ing un­der the radar. The prob­lem is he a one (point guard) or a five (cen­ter).”

That’s what makes the 3point shooting ex­per­i­ment in­ter­est­ing.

What­ever hap­pens, it won’t be worse than the end of last sea­son.

Wadding se­verely sprained his an­kle in the last Duneland Ath­letic Con­fer­ence game against Portage and the Tro­jans lost af­ter he left. He re­turned against Mer­ril­lville in the sec­tional semi­fi­nal, but wasn’t close to healthy.

The Pi­rates won eas­ily. End­ing a great sea­son at

21-4, with your best player hob­bled, is hard.

Wadding said he took a few days to “process the loss” and then he moved on.

“It def­i­nitely hurt,” he said. “It was just some­thing I had no con­trol over.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ur­ban, Wadding had a great June and then July ar­rived. That wasn’t so good. Wadding con­tracted a virus that caused him to lose 20 pounds. He weighed 170 when school started. He’s gained 10 pounds back.

Jake Wadding ac­knowl­edged that his shooting form was pretty medi­ocre. He worked this sum­mer to add tra­jec­tory to his shot, ac­cord­ing to Jody.

Jake said he has put up a lot of shots. He’s com­fort­able with his form.

It should be in­ter­est­ing.

It’s not easy to re­tool your game if you’ve played one way for years.

But for Wadding, the chal­lenge is real and he’s look­ing for­ward to let­ting it fly.

KYLE TELECHAN/POST-TRI­BUNE

Ch­ester­ton for­ward Jake Wadding hangs on the rim af­ter be­ing fouled by a Ham­mond player.

KYLE TELECHAN/POST-TRI­BUNE

Ch­ester­ton’s Jake Wadding can dunk the ball, as ev­i­denced by his ef­fort in Fe­bru­ary against Ham­mond. The ju­nior is re­tool­ing his game for the up­com­ing sea­son to in­clude a 3-point shot.

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