West overcomes adversity and shines for Jefferson

Geno West is a senior on the basketball team

Senior Geno West will try leading Jefferson to its first state basketball title since 2014. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Geno West has faced his fair share of obstacles during his basketball career at Jefferson High School.

West had a very scary moment during the basketball playoffs last season.

“The Westview game … it was a tough game,” said West. “It went to double overtime. I caught a cramp in both of my calves and in my left one, I pulled a muscle in my calf.”

“It was tied up and he got it [in the basketball game against Westview] from full court. He pushed it with like five seconds left and that’s when he fell [to the floor]. We didn’t really know what happened,” Marcus Tsohonis, a sophomore guard on the varsity basketball team, said. “It was a cramp though and in my mind I was thinking, ‘he’s going to get up.’ That’s what he does. He’s ready for the moment.”

“Anytime you see your leader going through adversity [like that and] he’s fighting through it, I mean, that makes the other guys hungry. [It] makes them want to fight as well,” said Patrick Strickland, who has guided the Jefferson Democrats to four state titles as a head coach. “Geno’s been our leader for the last couple of years. He’s been playing varsity since he was a freshman. He has one state championship. Hopefully we can get another one.”

West is putting in the hard work to try and help the Democrats win another state title before he graduates.

“It would mean the world [if we can win another state title]. You know, all of us want it,” said West. “We always want it bad.”

The last time the Jefferson boys basketball team won a state title was in 2014.

“We had some disciplinary situations, where six players got suspended [and] they couldn’t even attend the game,” said Strickland about the 2014 state championship season. “We only had six players to play so that was very memorable. And also it was our second [straight] year [where we won a state title]. The prior year we beat the same team, Churchill, in the state championship [game] in 2013.”

Our Athlete of The week is a standout in the classroom, where he carries a 3.5 GPA.

“You know, grades mean everything in the household. That’s all we worry about,” said West.

“He definitely has the academic and the athletic ability to play college basketball,” said Strickland. “And he is receiving interest from numerous universities.”

“Without academics you can’t play,” said West. “As far as your academics go is as far as you’re going to go.”