JC: Kace Kitchel, what’s up my man!! In north central Indiana, the last name ‘Kitchel’ is synonymous with the game of basketball. Your dad Jon, who went to Purdue.. Your uncle Ted, played for IU.. You’ve now created your own identity within the game.
JC: How proud are you of that rich family history? How proud are you of the success you’ve had to add to that history?
KK: “I’m very proud of all the things my family has accomplished over years and those accomplishments push me that much more to add to our success.”
JC: I was able to come and see you play late last month, Kokomo at Cass, despite being a little sick. You put up right at about your average with 13 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Your really such a gentle spirit, but on that basketball court I see a fire in you.
JC: What do you feel when your out there on the court, what does basketball do to you?
KK: “When I’m on the court it changes my personality entirely. I’m usually a pretty quiet guy, but when I get on that court I feel an extreme passion for the game.”
JC: Kace you’re 6’9″. 215 lbs.. At the next level depending on the makeup of your team you’ll be a 3, stretch 4.. In our time together, you have proved to me anyway, that you have such a soft touch on your mid range jump shot. And, have the ability to finish inside very well. I’ve been in basketball a while and it seems that to be better at one, there is a lack in the other.
JC: To be able to work inside the paint, and then to be able to pop out. How hard is that for your opponent to guard?
KK: “I always knew I’d be taller than most people and that that would give me an advantage, but I didn’t want to be a one dimensional player that was known only for his size. So developing my shot to go along with my size makes defenders have to defend me harder than they would if all I had was size.”
JC: To me, there is nothing like Indiana basketball. To say that I got the opportunity to play in this state, against the best talent at that time means the world to me. Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Eric Gordon, Josh McRoberts etc..
JC: Who would you say you’ve been blessed to play against? Did being out on the court with them raise your level of play?
KK: “My aau team this summer really helped my game. They liked to play at a very fast pace and it forced me to speed my game up or else I’d get left behind. That really helped me prepare for the next level because I know that the pace will be much faster than it is in high school.”
JC: With this being your senior season and all, when you think back on all the times you’ve had here at Lewis Cass.. the games, the crowds, the atmospheres, relationships with coaches and teammates. Trust me I know the feeling of wanting to extend this thing as far as possible.
JC: Number one, what kind of heart and desire are you taking into the post season to make a push for the sectional title and to go beyond? And then at whatever point the season comes to a close for you, how hard do you think that moment will be for you?
KK: “Once the post season begins heart is more important than talent. If you have a desire to go far in the tournament, then you’ll have a huge advantage over a team that has talent but no heart. Being my senior year and all, it’s going to be rough once the season comes to an end. This is the last sport that I’ll ever play with my buddies here at Cass, but we have made some pretty great memories along the way!”
JC: It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you, and working with you. Thank you again man.