BOYS BASKETBALL

Illiana's Jonkman has flourished as leading scorer

2014-02-20T19:00:00Z 2014-02-21T01:24:06Z Illiana's Jonkman has flourished as leading scorerMatt Douthett Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 20, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

LANSING | There is nothing Caleb Jonkman can't do on a basketball court, no matter what his role on the Illiana Christian boys basketball team over the past two years.

Last season, Jonkman wasn't asked to score much, as that responsibility was distributed amongst almost the entire starting lineup.

This season, however, Jonkman has flourished as the Vikings' leading scorer. As of Tuesday, Jonkman averaged 20.4 points per game and has emerged as the top clutch scorer on a talented squad.

"I've always been able to score pretty well," Jonkman said. "I've been putting the ball in the hole well, but my teammates have been giving me fantastic looks this year. A lot of my points have been coming off good defensive possessions and just getting the ball out."

Jonkman's ability to read defenses while driving to the hoop showed in a recent 80-73 win over Elmwood Park. He scored 27 points and didn't commit a foul.

"I've learned to read the help side," Jonkman said. "If I see him stepping up, I'm going to pull up and take a six-to-eight (foot jump shot). If I see him back, I'm just going to go up strong and take the contact."

He's an emotional leader for the Vikings, freely giving fives to everyone at a recent practice. It's those kinds of aspects that make Jonkman a blessing to have on the team, coach Tom Roozeboom said.

"Every level that he's been on, he's been a leader," Roozeboom said. "People look to him in that role. He's just gotten better as the years have gone on. He's a leader on the floor and a spiritual leader of the guys. It's just nice to see him having a great year."

Jonkman, who hopes to lead his team to the Metro Suburban Conference title and a deep playoff run, has earned a chance to play in college. He will take his talents to Trinity Christian next year, where his mother, Suzanne Wiltjer Jonkman, holds several records and is in the school's hall of fame for women's basketball.

"She wanted me to go where I wanted to go, but Trinity has everything I want in a college," he said. "I love the coach and the players there. Being able to go and play there — it's not only fulfilling for me, but I'm excited to be able to carry on the family tradition."

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