Hagerty High School Boys Basketball Essay

Hagerty High School Men’s Basketball

Nominated by: Ed Doyle

Josh Kohn.

Josh is the Head Coach at Paul J. Hagerty High School.  His basketball pedigree is impeccable.  His dad, Steve Kohn, coaches at Lake Howell High School, Florida 5a State Champions in 2007.  Josh’s brother Reggie is the head coach at Orlando Christian Prep, where the Warriors have won three consecutive Florida 1a State Championships.  Josh was a scoring machine in high school, college and as a pro in Europe for five years.  A ton of his scoring records still stand, and at 35 years old he still shoots lights out.  Straight up blue chip basketball pedigree.

So what.

Josh is the first and only coach in Hagerty High School’s short five year history.  First year, 2 wins.  Year two, 9 wins.  Then 15 wins.  Then 17.  And this year, 21 wins! A first ever Conference Championship followed by a District Championship win over his dad’s team from Lake Howell. Hagerty finished ranked #8 in Florida 6a schools, the biggest in the state.

So what.

It’s not about the wins for Josh.  It’s about the kids.  Yeah, every coach would say that as they point their players in the right direction and kick their butts if they get out of line.  What makes Josh different is that he meets the kids where they are and walks with them until they get to where they need to be.  In their game.  In their classrooms.  In their communities.  In their homes.  In their lives.

I know this because my son Luke plays for Josh at Hagerty.  As a Sophomore, Luke is a second-year starter with Division 1 skills, a strong GPA and a passion for the game that drives him to work harder than his coach (or his dad) would expect.  Luke is a straight up blue chip baller.

So what.

The best thing my son’s got going for him is his day-to-day relationship with Josh Kohn.  Under Josh’s leadership, Luke and his Hagerty teammates serve people in our community who can’t help themselves…sorting and packing over 5 tons of food for distribution at Harvest Time International—enough to feed 2,100 hungry people!  Luke has been “hands on” with Josh as they host their annual skills clinic for 70+ inner city kids at Frontline Outreach in Orlando.  Luke was part of Josh’s effort to provide grocery store gift cards for families in need for Thanksgiving dinner.  Hagerty serves.

So what.

What makes Hagerty a champion is the way Josh pours his heart into my 16-year-old son.  How he helps Luke navigate the emotional minefield that was created from the fallout of  our divorce.  How Luke has forged a trust bond with his coach that allows him to talk out  real life solutions for the problems that Luke won’t even talk to me about…teen sex, drug use, addiction, and the importance of faith in every step of Luke’s journey.

As a dad, it’s not easy to admit that Josh Kohn gives my son things I am unable to give him myself.  And I have watched Josh do that for every single kid in the Hagerty basketball program.  Even for those, perhaps especially for those, kids who don’t even make the team.

So if you choose to give your “Dress the Champions” award to another school….

So what.

For real.  My son has already seen what it takes to be a TRUE champion and I’d be happy to see him play in rags for Josh Kohn and Hagerty High school…

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