PITSBURG – The 2017 Jet Holiday Tournament was full of surprises and highly competitive.
It’s not very often you get the opportunity to see someone eclipse the 1,000-point barrier for their careers, and this year’s tournament had two individuals do just that on the same night.
There were no surprises when Ethan Bowman reached the historic mark in the consolation game of the Jet Tourney with many anticipating the moment and then holding up little basketballs with 1,000 points printed on it when he reached the mark.
The Franklin Monroe coaching staff took a completely different approach on the matter and never intimated to junior star Ethan Conley he was approaching the mark.
“He knew nothing about the 1,000-point mark because I didn’t want him playing for it and change his mindset,” Franklin Monroe coach Troy Myers said.
In the third quarter Conley drove up the middle of the lane and finished at the rim to put him over the 1,000-point mark in his career.
“We took a timeout, and I whispered it in his ear he scored a 1,000 points; he was shocked,” Myers said.
The look of surprise was evident when Conley received the ball and so were many in the stands who were unaware of the moment.
“Because Ethan is such a humble kid, he doesn’t keep track of what he’s scoring. He just wants to get the job done. I’m super proud he earned it on a night like this and let him have a moment like this,” Myers said.
When asking Conley about reaching the 1,000 points, he thanked those who supported and helped him along the way.
“I want to thank my family for always encouraging me and always pushing me to my limits,” Conley said. “To my teammates because without them I’m not in a position to score, and my coaching staff for everything they have done for me and the time they have invested in me to help prepare me for this moment.
“I also want to thank God, definitely God who healed my body. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even have these legs right now. It’s a testament to the miracle God has played in my life,” Conley added.
After eclipsing 1,000 points and with the game hanging in the balance, the moment wasn’t too big for Conley to provide one more highlight.
With Brookville and FM tied at 40, Conley stepped to the free throw line and sank two free throws with five seconds left to help the Jets secure the win and claim the 55th annual Jet Holiday Tournament championship trophy.
“It was great to score 1,000 points but even better to make those two free throws at the end of the game,” Conley said.
“We haven’t won the Jet Tournament in five years, and to do it with this group of guys and with these seven seniors, it feels amazing,” Conley said. “Since my freshman year I’ve really became brothers with them and to be able to win this with them is a blessing.”
Conley joins an elite club at Franklin Monroe and now No. 9 on the all-time scoring list and most likely will surpass many of them before his career is over.
At the top of the list is Mike Cross with 2,204 points, Joe Sass 1,550, Brian Myers 1,195, Travis Swank 1,152, Irv Besecker 1,146, Rod Nealeigh 1,106, Travis Feitshans 1,062 and Kip Gray 1,031.
No matter where he ends up, one thing is for sure, he is thankful to be playing and knows he is blessed and has been given a gift, a gift he is using to the best of his ability.