Flashes’ Batcho reaches milestone

Special to Tribune Chronicle Champion’s Drake Batcho, left, and Golden Flashes boys basketball coach Nathan Kish, right, celebrate Batcho’s accomplishment of reaching 1,000 points in his career.

It didn’t seem likely Drake Batcho would get to 1,000 career points.

However, he did that on Jan. 23 against Brookfield. Batcho scored 37 points, which put him over the 1,000-point threshold.

“Drake is a competitor and is very coachable,” Champion coach Nathan Kish said. “As the lone senior, he buys in to everything I’m trying to teach, which is so important. He really buys into what I want to do and really helps the young guys understand what to do. It’s so great to have him do so much for the team.”

Batcho scored just two points and grabbed just three rebounds for his entire freshmen year.

He began his great play during his sophomore year as he averaged 13.4 points per game, 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

“All throughout my freshmen, sophomore and junior years, I didn’t think I could get to this point,” Batcho said. “Scoring isn’t my main goal; winning is. Coach Kish truly gets the best out of me. He’s been a good coach and an even better person.”

He began to take off as a junior as he averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He has continued to be great as Champion struggled to start the 2017-18 season.

Batcho is averaging 21.1 points per game, 10.8 rebounds with a block and a steal.

“He’s a physical, strong guy that really can push some people around,” Kish said. “For us, his biggest asset is how he always stays the same. No matter the situation, good or bad night, he is always calm, cool and collected. He’s definitely a leader by example. He’s not a vocal guy and that’s just his personality. I like that he’s quiet compared to a lot of other guys.”

Batcho doesn’t worry as much about stats as he does about winning but he also knows he has a big responsibility as the only returning starting senior.

“Being the top dog on the team does put pressure on me,” he said. “Having guys like Joe (Abramovich) and Chase (Wheelock) is really important because when they are hitting, guys can’t double team me. That gives me the chance to dominate down low if possible. We are know starting to get our groove going.”

Kish believes that without Batcho the team just wouldn’t be the same.

“He leads by example,” Kish said. “I know that he likes to focus his game and his game only. That’s why we are good with him on the court. Off the court, what he does for the community and the younger kids is immeasurable. I’m proud of the person he is in every way and I’m glad he’s on our team.”