FHC’s very own All-Conference player


This past basketball season, our very own Jonas VanderWoude secured the title for All-Conference First Team. It was well-deserved, for Jonas fought extremely hard the entire season. Jonas not only played on the team, but he was a genuine team player. He helped his teammates out and spread his love for the game. But the question is, where did this love begin?

“I started playing basketball at the age of five,” said Jonas. “The reason I began was that, at first, it just appeared fun to me. Basketball runs in my blood; my grandpa and dad both played college basketball. But soon after I began, I realized how much I loved it and wanted to play the sport.” 

As Jonas grew older, he found that basketball was something he could use to express himself; basketball became everything to him.

“When I started playing basketball, it was just an every weekend type of thing. It turned into an everyday thing and later became my life. The sport has helped me in so many ways.” 

Jonas has not always been a student-athlete at Forest Hills Central. He previously attended Grand Rapids Christian, where both the environment and basketball experience were quite different. 

“It has been an adjustment for me; it has been super weird,” Jonas said. “I grew up at GRC, so it really was a challenge to switch over. But overall, I enjoy being a student here more. I prefer playing here and competing with this team that has made everything so much easier.”

Between both schools, Jonas has made various memories. From sad to happy, angry to excited, one specific memory takes the cake for him. 

“My absolute favorite memory was when we traveled to GRC and beat them on their own court. It was the end of the game, and we were neck and neck. Luckily for us, I got fouled. I went to the free-throw line, and I made my two shots. It was right in front of the student section, and it made me so happy. It was such a good feeling.” 

It is incredible how Jonas kept his head in the game after such pressure. His overall skill and work ethic are brilliant as well. For him, many things in life really drive him to compete at the highest of his abilities. 

“What motivates me is my pure passion for the game. It’s fun; I like to play with my friends and be challenged. I play for Jesus, too; I want to use the skills He gave me to play my best. Jesus, my grandpa, and my dad give me motivation and kind words to do my best.”

Jonas is such a positive player and has left such a positive influence on his team. He is the definition of a good heart and a good player. Jonas believes everyone should take the step to try something new and see if it will become something he or she loves. Always take the chance. 

Jonas says, “As Kobe Bryant said, ‘You miss one hundred of the shots you don’t take.’”