Athlete of the Month

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Athlete of the Month

Kuchins dribbles the ball down the court during a recent game. She has led the team to a 14-4 record.

Kuchins dribbles the ball down the court during a recent game. She has led the team to a 14-4 record.

Photo by Coco Kutchins

Kuchins dribbles the ball down the court during a recent game. She has led the team to a 14-4 record.

Photo by Coco Kutchins

Photo by Coco Kutchins

Kuchins dribbles the ball down the court during a recent game. She has led the team to a 14-4 record.

By Ben Dross, Production Editor

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As a humble athlete, junior and varsity girls basketball player Coco Kuchins prefers to let her game do the talking for her.

The soft-spoken point guard is known for many things, including her scoring ability, intense defense and ability to control the tempo of a game. Kuchins has led the Bulldogs to a 14-4 record while averaging 15 points, five assists, 2.5 blocks and a mind-boggling seven steals per game. However, even with these expectations to uphold, the only thing that Kuchins is focused on is the game.

“She’s definitely more of a leader in the way she plays,” sophomore teammate Gabriella Baker said. “Her athleticism and her love for the game makes everyone want to play better.”

Kuchins’ biggest reason for her success is her athleticism, according to Baker. Her teammates and coaches constantly praise her ability to do pretty much anything on the court.

“Coco is a successful basketball player due to her athleticism, experience and attitude; all three play a large role,” head coach Katelyn Blanken said. “She is also very well-rounded.  Coco’s defensive abilities may stand out even more than her tremendous offensive abilities, making her an all-around threat.”

While Kuchins averages 15 points a game, it’s what she does on the defensive end that is so impressive. Her talents for stealing the ball are unmatched by anyone else in the county.

“Coco has rare athletic gifts, including her speed, anticipation and hops,” Blanken said. “She has played competitively for years, and is involved in club basketball, which has provided the experience needed to become a successful basketball player. She loves to play and, although she is one of the best players in the county, she is a very selfless player and loves to see her teammates do well.”

According to Kuchins, her favorite part of basketball is getting “a good block or a really good steal.”

Kuchins has proven to be a natural leader on the court and is loved by her teammates.

“She plays at such a high level,” Baker said. “The high speed and energy she plays with raises the tempo of the game.”

Kuchins’ athleticism and tenacity has led the Bulldogs to a 14-4 (8-1 Montgomery 4A/3A South) start this season, good for first in the conference. In a Feb. 5 game against Walter Johnson, all of the girls’ talent was put on display. The team dominated, winning 67-37. Kuchins had 17 points in the win, and she felt that this was the teams’ best showing all season.

“Everyone was able to get points, and as a team we were working well and communicating,” Kuchins said.

Kuchins is an amazing shooter as well. She put up 17 points against B-CC, 19 against Rockville, and a season high 29 points against Northwood. She did not forget about defense either, compiling 15 steals against Northwood as well.

“Coco is our point guard and leads the team by running the offense,” Blanken said. “[She] is a large part of every game plan.”

Some may argue that the greatest part of Kuchins’ game is her attitude. While she’s a selfless player on the court, averaging five assists per game, she is also selfless off the court, with her contagious spirit passing on to the rest of the team.

“She’s really fun in practice,” Baker said. “She’s always smiling.”

Now, Kuchins is starting to look towards the future as she is receiving offers from many schools, including UMBC, Loyola (Md.) and Air Force to play Division I Basketball. Her teammates and coach could not be more proud.

“It’s always fun coaching Coco and seeing how she responds in games,” Blanken said. “I am excited to see where the college search will lead her.”