In late January I got to sit down with Trajan Deckard, star shooting guard of Kokomo Wildkats basketball. I wanted to pick his brain, and get a little insight into why he’s been so successful this basketball season. From his scoring, team leadership and maturity, Trajan has taken his game to a new level. He also has a message for young and upcoming future Wildkats.
JC: Trajan man, you are scoring the ball so well right now. I’m proud of you and the success I see you are having individually. I’ve seen so much maturity in your game. To what do you credit most of your success as a far as your ability to score the basketball? And how much does your team play a roll in that?
TD: “I credit the time and dedication I put in the gym over the off-season. My teammates are playing a big roll in my scoring because they are looking for me, feeding me the ball when I’m getting open. I’ve become more confident in my shooting and can now show what I’m capable of.”
JC: Your ability to get to the basket and finish is incredible, but also your jump shooting has proven to be a major threat. You remind me of a young Dominic James, having that dual threat. What would you say.. Is it that getting to the basket helps your outside game more, or is it your outside shooting increases your ability to get to the basket easier?
TD: “My outside shooting helps me get to the basket easier. As teams scout they say “shooter”, but when I can dominate the arch and then the next few possessions pump fake, I can make one move to the rim with a finish.”
JC: Personally, I’ve truly enjoyed the times we’ve spent together training. Being able to offer you and others what I know about shooting the basketball has been a dream come true for me, and to see a student that I’ve worked with be so successful is wonderful. What have you taken from our time together and how do you apply it on the court?
TD: “Yes, the time we’ve spent getting better was tremendous. The key to my jump shot you told me was keeping my elbow in and aligned with the basketball. That’s helped me a lot and what has boosted my free throw percentage.”
JC: Now in your senior year, performing the way you have, you are definitely putting yourself on the radar. How do you remain humble and focused? How do you maintain the concept of team first while having so much individual success?
TD: “Being a senior I understand that I have to be a great leader and keep the young guys focused. Playing the way I am I know that I have to be patient and play at a higher level with more intensity than any other player on the court. I know that I am the key to my team and have to keep everyone on the same page.”
JC: I had to leave early from the Logansport game with my son, he was just so ready to get out of there lol. But, I listened to the rest of the game on the radio and man you showed out with 22 pts in the second half. I thought, wow!!!
JC: With averaging right around 18.7ppg this season, you’ve posted these numbers in great fashion. Season highs being: 32, 25, 24, 23. Not only are you active in the points category, but I’ve been impressed with your rebounding, with 3 to 4 rebounds a game. The other night against Logan, you didnt force anything, you let the game come to you and you did what you had to do to help your team win. That to me spells out, unselfish.. What’s truly the most important thing you, the team winning or personal accolades?
TD: “First half of the Logansport game I didn’t shoot much I looked more for my teammates getting shots because they pressured me well. When I had the ball in my hands I felt as if it was a smart move for me to do that, because second half they focused more on Anthony which gave me the chance to get open and attack the basket. Logansport normally has a good team so I knew that being patient and controlling the ball would keep us alive even when it hurt us as a team that I wasn’t getting shots up. Team winning always comes first to me. Being on top is always a great feeling even if I didn’t have the greatest game I could’ve played. I hold my head high because that means the young guys and other seniors stepped up and were prepared to battle. Being the teams leading scorer is good but you also have to know that being a team player there’s some games when it’s not about being the leading scorer. You’ll have to help your team get the victory by getting others open and playing hard on both ends of the court.”
JC: Trajan, its been such a pleasure man. I’m proud of you.. I’m watching you.. I’m a fan.. And my prayers are with you as you continue to grow and mature as a person and a basketball player. I’m so looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you my man. Thank you for this opportunity!!