Veteran Leadership is Key in Eighth-Ranked Trojans’ Strong Start to the Basketball Season

GTR Sports Writer

MIKE MOGUIN for Jenks District Gazette
IKE HOUSTON: The 6’3″, three-year starting guard has been a key factor in Jenks’ early season success.

One team to watch out for in boys basketball coming out of the Christmas break is Jenks.
The Trojans are 6-1 overall and ranked eighth in the state boys Class 6A poll.
One key factor in their success is the veteran leadership of Ike Houston, a 6’3″, three-year starting guard. Houston emphasizes the importance of serving in such a role for the rest of the team.
“I just feel like everyday at practice, I’ve got to set an example for the younger kids so they can carry on the tradition that we have here,” he said.
As a senior, he has confidence in what future Trojans squads can accomplish.
“I think we’ve got a lot of skilled young guys who know what they’re doing when they come in here and know how to win, work really hard and I think we’ll be really good for the future,” Houston said.
“I always try to be vocal out there, make sure all my guys are on the same page. I feel like I can always score pretty well and get the ball to people who need it. If someone is hot, my defense is improved,” he said.
The fast start, Houston said, has been awesome this year.
“We knew that with what we have we could play against anybody,” he added. “To be 6-1 is good, but we still want to work harder and get better everyday.”
The lone loss for Jenks came at the hands of Booker T. Washington, last year’s state champion who was ranked No. 1 at the time.
What Houston likes most about the game of basketball is the competitive aspect.
“I love to compete,” he said. “I love having my guys on the same page. Us going out there, protecting our home, or going into someone’s house, trying to get a win.”
He loves playing for coach Clay Houston, who often travels on weekends early in the season to officiate NFL games.
“It’s very cool. He’s a great coach,” Houston said of Martin. “He gets us ready to go every game and we all love playing for him. It makes us play a little harder to know that we’re playing for him.”
Houston said the best moment of the season, at least before the holiday break, was against Bixby in the championship game of the Tahlequah tournament. The Trojans won big against the Spartans, 69-38.
“It’s a school that we’ve kind of been rivals with,” he said. “They’re not very far away from us. It’s always good to go out and beat those guys.”
The key to maintaining the momentum is, “I think we’ve just got to come in, practice, try and win the next game, not look too far ahead,” Houston said. “I think our being good enough is good enough and we can go out and compete with anyone in the state.”
One more note he said, “Go Trojans!”

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