JT has been a Rockstar for his 2nd-ranked Lincoln Patriots as a junior

Sky is the limit for the future Iowa State Cyclone
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 11:22 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Some of the stories about JT Rock sound like fictional tall tales. Yet the seven-foot-one Lincoln junior has a future that seems sky high.

Zach Borg has more on our Karl’s tV & appliance Athlete of the Week.

”I’ve been on my own curve on the growth chart that they bring up at the doctors office or what not!” Lincoln Junior Center JT Rock says.

The same could perhaps be said of JT Rock’s evolution on the basketball court, as the rims at Lincoln High can attest to. “It was kind of cool. I heard a loud noise and I let go right away just kind of when I heard that noise. And then I turned around and looked at and I was like well that’s broken!” Rock says. “Yeah it is a first! Fortunately we have a fantastic auxiliary gym that we were able to move over to to finish out the game!” Lincoln Head Coach Jeff Halseth says.

In some respects, J.T. is right on track when it comes to height that runs through his family. “My mom said there’s an old wives tale that if you take the height of a little boy when he’s two and a half years old and you double it that’ll be the height they turn out to be. So that put me at about 7′4′'. So so far it’s not too far off with me being 7′1′' at the age of 16 already!” JT says.

Though he’d begin playing varsity basketball for the Patriots at the end of his freshman year, it took a little more time to grow on the hardwood. “I think a big challenge with that was getting stronger and putting on a bit of weight. Staying in the gym all the time, shoot the ball, work on dribbling the ball too and footwork and stuff like that. Timing with the shot blocking and stuff like that.” Rock says.

And Rock has continued to broaden the scope of his game. After averaging 12 points as a sophomore he’s up to nearly 20 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior. “Like the work ethic that he’s got. He has got himself so much stronger, so much faster, so much bigger from his freshman year to where he is at now. And I don’t think he’s done filling out yet.” Halseth says.

Making him one of the most sought after recruits in South Dakota prep history, and leading to his verbal commitment play at Iowa State for former SDSU coach TJ Otzelberger. “Probably what his offseason goals are going to be is to get a little bit more quickness involved so he can be able to attack a basket. So if he gets that put in he’s going to have a great college career too.: Halseth says.

“It’s been my dream since I could understand the concept. It’s close to home and they play in the Big 12 which I feel is the best basketball league in America right now.” Rock says.

Where JT is eager to continue charting his own path.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.