Jordan Starkey is a man for all seasons.|
The Geneseo senior basketball player has donned green and white from the minute he stepped into high school, and will do so even after he walks across the stage with his diploma in May.
When it's nice enough to run, he does, and is pretty good at it. When it's too cold, he goes inside and plays basketball, and he's pretty darn good at that, too.
In fact, Starkey led the Maple Leafs to the Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament championship and earned this week's honor of Metro Pacesetter for The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus.
Starkey hasn't had an afternoon off since early August, either.
He was the star of the Geneseo cross country team again this fall, qualifying for the Class 2A state meet, just barely missing out on an All-State spot while running his lifetime best time.
The next day he enjoyed the team banquet, but on Monday was on the court for basketball practice.
Not that the summer was any different. He finished track season in mid-May, and was on the court all summer, convinced the Leafs were better than the 6-19 record they posted last season.
"Coach (Josh) Reschke and Coach (Mike) Kiss did a nice job of improving our skills and working on our basketball IQ," Starkey said of the time between when coach Dave Martin left and before coach Brad Storm was hired. "All that work is paying off, and when Coach Storm came we really fit into his style."
Starkey's running shoes are coming in handy. If the fast-paced style of play leaves him winded after a few down-and-back trips, just think how the opposition must feel.
Like a boxer wearing down his opponent, Starkey and the Leafs have worn down all three of their foes, getting them weary before delivering the knockout blow.
In the Leafs' three wins, Starkey has averaged more than 17 points per game, while also dishing out nearly four assists per contest.
"During the first and second quarter, I'm not the quickest kid on the court," Starkey said. "But then in the second half, I can keep up with anyone and push my teammates a little farther too."
Last season, the Leafs won just six games all season, three of them to Dixon, but have turned the tide this year behind Starkey's leadership and a more veteran bunch.
The Leafs have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, too. Ranked by one newspaper to finish 5th in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference, the Leafs can't wait to prove everyone wrong. They won't have to wait either with Sterling and Ottawa coming up in the next 10 days.
"We're going to fight to win a conference championship and we all believe we can," Starkey said. "We need to dictate the style of play on offense and defense every time we step on to the court."
In the running
Favorites TV show: "SportsCenter"
Favorite movie: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"
Favorite subject: Humanities with Mr. Harrington and Mr. Hall
Favorite food: Mom's lasagna
Future college major: Engineering
Parents: Brent and Margaret Starkey, Colona
In the running
C.J. Carr, Rock Island: Named Gary Moran Most Valuable Player after helping the Rocks win the Rock Island-Milan Booster Club Thanksgiving Classic.
Ethan Radue, Geneseo: Averaged 14.6 points in three games at the Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament.
Adarios Jones, Moline: Won three matches at the United Township Triple Duals.
Drew Owens, Moline: Named to the Galesburg Thanksgiving All-Tournament team.
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