When his father approached him about trying the sport of basketball, Jake Kyman had zero interest in playing. After some convincing, Kyman tried National Junior Basketball (NJB) as a third grader and has been playing ever since.
“So I ended up playing it,” says Kyman. “I made the all-star team, and I started loving basketball.”
The Santa Margarita Catholic High School junior plays small forward for the Eagles, but it’s Kyman’s versatility that allows him to play several positions and contribute in all aspects of offense and defense. His love for the game is unmatched.
“It’s my passion,” says Kyman of basketball. “Nothing else makes me feel any better.”
As a captain for the Eagles, Kyman treats his teammates with respect, helping to keep them focused on their ultimate goal. That respect has been reciprocated, and the three-year varsity starter’s leadership is making a difference.
“Jake is the best overall player that I have coached since I have been at Santa Margarita,” says Eagles varsity boys basketball head coach, Jeff Reinert. “He is a complete player and has improved his basketball game in different areas every year. Jake treats all his teammates with respect, and he has the respect of his teammates.”
Having played on a number of teams over his career, Kyman enjoys the family-oriented atmosphere of playing for the Eagles and representing his high school on the court. Reinert agrees that is what sets Kyman and the school apart.
“I believe that is what makes Jake and Santa Margarita special,” says Reinert. “All players are friends with everyone on the team and with other groups on campus.”
A back injury that kept Kyman out of playing for nearly three months near some key college recruiting opportunities was a frustrating blow to the 17-year-old. But Kyman was diligent in his recovery, worked his way back and is now more appreciative of lessons learned from the game.
“There’s been times when I’ve faced adversity, and it’s been super hard to get through,” says Kyman. “Basketball has shown me that life isn’t handed to you. You have to take things and earn them.”
Kyman’s appreciation for the chance to play basketball comes from his faith and his belief in the idea that to whom much is given, much is required.
“I was blessed with God-given talent and abilities,” says Kyman. “I feel its God’s calling for me to play basketball, be the best I can and work as hard as I can in that sport.”
The Aliso Viejo resident has NCAA Division I college basketball aspirations and is grateful for his coaches, teammates and especially his father, who are helping to point him in the right direction.
“My dad (is my role model) because he’s been through everything with me,” says Kyman. “I want to be just like him.”