Junior Jake Koning has put in countless hours for this very moment


It wasn’t too long ago when Jake Koning opened the eyes of his teammates and future coaches by putting on a show at the seventh-grade level. Now, as a junior, Jake is entering his “rookie year” on the FHC varsity basketball team; he expects to make an immediate impact.

Whether it’s varsity, middle-school, or pick-up basketball, Jake has consistently trained to be a deadly threat from the outside. Although a common occurrence, the junior hooper will never grow tired of seeing the ball splash through the hoop. 

“I would say that I’ve always been zoned in on my jump-shot,” Jake said. “If you can shoot, then you can be a real problem for opposing teams.”

Although Jake’s outside shooting game has the ability to light up crowds, he attributes his silky touch and technique to the time he has spent in his driveway and empty gyms.

“Nothing happens overnight,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the reward of devoting most of my time to working on my game behind the scenes.”

I’m proud of myself for what I’ve been able to accomplish. I’m not done yet, though, and I’m excited to see what I can do.

— Jake Koning

With the opportunity to learn the ropes from Ben Scholler and Jacob Bonnett–some of the finest guards in West Michigan–there is no doubt that Jake has the mental and physical capacity to contribute to this year’s squad.

“I’m honestly just really excited to play with this Rangerball team,” Jake exclaimed. “I really like my teammates, and I think that we can be a really, really good team.”

Jake’s been able to turn a lot of heads in recent years. For coaches at the high school and even collegiate level, it is difficult to overlook a player with such offensive prowess. Looking at his game, Koning certainly possesses it all: shooting, ball-handling, passing, and court vision. 

As he begins his first stint with varsity basketball, it will be crucial for him to grow in the intangibles aspect. These fields include communication, energy, coachability, and mental toughness. He has proven to be sufficient in such areas; however, basketball at the varsity level will assuredly put these matters to the test. 

“[Varsity basketball] is a different speed, so I’ve been preparing for that,” Jake claimed. 

To this point in his basketball career, Koning has possessed the privilege to play alongside incredible competitors; not just for FHC, but also at the AAU level. Jake has been a key member of B3 Athletics, where he shines in the backcourt with fellow Rangerballer Levi McKenzie. This opportunity to compete amongst Grand Rapids’ top players in the spring and summer months has provided Jake with a second-to-none ability to stand out in a crowd of exceptional athletes.

“AAU basketball has been great for me,” Koning said. “It really helps me gear up for the high school season once winter rolls around.”

Unfortunately, Jake was sidelined with an injury for most of last season; regardless, he was able to work his way back into a groove just in time for the MHSAA Playoffs. Although this marked the end of the JV season, Koning was one of just three sophomores to get “the call” to varsity for some extra depth. Within this, he had the uncanny opportunity to witness a magical postseason run for the varsity squad. With a state-renowned upset over Rockford on the road and a season-defining victory over Northview to complete a season sweep of the Wildcats, Jake was lucky enough to gauge the caliber of varsity basketball in high-octane, energy-packed environments.

If there’s been one constant for FHC basketball over the years, it has been tremendous point-guard play. Whether it be Johnny Nutter, Sal Sidebotham, Ty George, or Jimmy Scholler, head coach Kyle Carhart will look to carry on such a scheme. 

Should Jake continue his excellent work ethic and high-level play, coach Carhart will look no further than the talented, crafty guard in Koning. 

Likewise to senior Ben Scholler–the projected starter for the upcoming year–Jake has properly waited his turn; he is the leading candidate to take the reigns at point guard for his senior season next winter. 

“Jake is extremely basketball-focused,” coach Carhart praised. “The time that he puts in outside of school ball has gotten him to where he is.”

Jake Koning has put in countless hours to perfect his craft. From hour-long driveway sessions to tiring out the shooting machine, there is no doubt that the junior sharpshooter has what it takes to make large-scale contributions to a highly-talented Rangerball roster. If there’s one thing that he’s proven, it’s that passion and devotion can shape not just ability, but character as well. 

“I’m proud of myself for what I’ve been able to accomplish,” Jake said. “I’m not done yet, though, and I’m excited to see what I can do.”