CROWN POINT | Hitting the long shot is something most high school basketball players dream of. But for Crown Point sophomore Grant Gelon this thought goes way beyond hoops.
In the summer he and the men of the family drive up to Ear Falls in Canada to be men. They hunt. They fish. They be, well, men.
"I've been shooting a bow for forever," Gelon said. "Sometimes we see the Northern Lights from time to time. It's awesome to see. This is something I will do forever."
Bulldogs coach Clint Swan hopes his growing star doesn't spend all his time putting camouflage paint on his face or putting worms onto a hook. It's something Swan really doesn't have to worry about.
"Grant is a gym rat," Swan said. "He is always in there. I have to kick him out of the gym. Last summer he wanted me to meet him in the gym at 5 a.m. so he could shoot."
The 6-foot-4 shooting star has opened up the Bulldogs offense. He is averaging 12 points a game and has hit 34-of-70 shots from 3-point range.
Over C.P.'s last three games Gelon is on a tear. He had 16 points in a 71-60 win over Merrillville. He scored 22 in an 85-59 win over South Bend Clay. And on Saturday, he scored 15 in a 72-58 win over Chesterton.
In that game, up a lot with a few minutes left, Crown Point was running the clock down. Gelon got the ball wide open and Swan yelled, "Hit it." He did and the win was secured.
"The Merrillville win sparked it," Gelon said. "We want to keep riding the wave."
Gelon's father, Mark, played basketball at Lake Central. His mother, Sandi, was a standout softball pitcher at Lake Central. His hoops dream started at an early age, 3.
Mark showed Grant the shooting form. Even as a lad the long-range bomb was his love.
"I remember chucking it as hard as I could hoping it would hit the backboard and go in," Gelon said. "My dad would tell me to move in and I kept backing up. Backing up.
"Once I started getting some form they started going in."
Swan said that Gelon is not just a shooter anymore. He's learned to hit C.P.'s bigs off the dribble now. Bret Barclay (13.2) and Nick Jeffirs (12.4) have seen their games explode now that the 'Dogs have a deadly outside threat.
Crown Point (7-3, 2-1) travels to LaPorte (9-4, 0-2) for a big Duneland Athletic Conference game.
"I've been very comfortable with this group since Day One," Swan said. "I see them feeling better about themselves as we've started to put some wins together, which is good.
"We just want to keep working hard and try to keep this going."
Gelon isn't just a hard-core outdoorsmen. He has another off-the-radar goal that is also long-range.
"I plan on being a pilot," he said. "I've been taking classes. One day I hope to be up there by myself."