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Competitive Drive: Jaxon Pillich's love of basketball instilled by his mom

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Whether it is sweet dunks or even long range three pointers, it is safe to say high school basketball is in full swing.

The Heights Falcons have flown out to a 5-0 start on the year, thanks in part to the play of guard Jaxon Pillich.

It's not hard to see that the high flying junior shows real passion on the court.

"I play with a passion and I just love the feel of going up and down the court, and doing whatever I can to win," said Jaxon Pillich.

"He loves basketball, and you don't have to work on his passion," said Joe Auer, Pillich's head coach.

You don't have to look too far to see where he gets it from.

His mother, Jen, played basketball at USC for the Lady Trojans.

"I played with Lisa Leslie, she was my teammate, at the time she was a junior," said Jen Pillich.

So, at a young age, Jaxon had a ball in his hands.

"Once he actually started to grow in the game, and started with little league basketball, than that's when I knew that this kid has actually picked up the love of basketball," said Jen Pillich.

That love of basketball had led Jaxon to even represent Puerto Rico on the hardwood.

His grandmother is from the island, allowing him to play for their under-16 team.

"It was a very humbling experience I can tell you that, and just a huge honor to represent my country and just with what they've been going through with the hurricane," said Jaxon Pillich.

Back here in Kansas on the hardwood in Bel Aire on a Thursday morning, you could see mother and son sharing their passion for the game together.

"I just thought it was really cool that he grew into loving the game of basketball, one of my biggest challenges is I didn't want to push him too much in the game," said Jen Pillich.

The push she has given her son hasn't gone unnoticed.

"It's like Christmas morning every day when he arrives at the gym, he cannot wait to get going," said Auer. "Jaxon is without a doubt one of the most competitive kids I've ever coached," Auer added.

It's that competitive drive that fuels him on the court for the Falcons.

"Once I get that feel that, oh yeah this is the hype, that's when I start getting hype, that's when us as a team, we use that momentum for the rest of the game," said Jaxon Pillich.

It's something he hopes will help pave the way for his ultimate goal.

"Play college ball, not only that but take that and get my degree at a four-year institution, and we'll see where it goes from there," said Jaxon Pillich.

While Jaxon shines bright on the court, he also does the same in the classroom.

He finished this past semester with over a 3.0 GPA.


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