By KRIS MILLS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Mack remembers Zach Kuhn as a raw seventh grader. Even then, the Shelbyville head coach could tell there was something unique about this smart, skilled guard.
Mack was right on the money.
Becoming a Division I athlete does not happen overnight. In a sense, the stars must align. Kuhn, who signed his National Letter of Intent with Army West Point last weekend, has taken the necessary steps to secure his future.
However, the Shelbyville senior had one task left to complete Friday at Columbus North — the school’s all-time scoring mark, which was held by 1970 SHS graduate and University of Texas Hall of Fame member Harry Larrabee.
With a basket early in the third quarter on the road against the Bulldogs, Kuhn surpassed Larrabee’s record (1,370 points). He needed 13 points entering the contest.
With 1,386 points, Kuhn is now the best scorer in Shelbyville history. He is also the program’s all-time leader in assists and rebounds, Mack said. Kuhn needed just three games into his final season to top the scoring record, as well, which makes the feat even more impressive.
“It was quick,” Mack said, who is in his sixth season with the Golden Bears. “I remember him in seventh grade, watching him at Garrett Gym for workouts. I told him (and his dad), that as long as I am here, he will have a key to the gym in a sense he will always be able to get extra shots up. If he continued to work like he did, he was going to be a Division I player.
“He’s a great shooter but also does a lot of other things well. He is our leading scorer in school history and, often times, I have to tell him in practice to take the shot rather than make an extra pass. At times, I have had to push him to be a more aggressive scorer.”
Kuhn finished with 28 points Friday as Shelbyville fell to Columbus North in overtime, 82-76.
“It is something that is exciting and means a lot to me,” Kuhn said of the record. “When you are a kid, it is something you grow up dreaming about. To finally accomplish that dream is really cool. Coach (Harry Larrabee) is someone I have always respected. He has always supported me through the years. I love the guy, I am glad I can catch up to him.”
Kuhn is the son of Travis and Misti Kuhn. Mack gave them credit for raising such a “great kid.”
“It is really neat to see his development,” Mack said. “He has always been a great kid. It has been a true joy to coach him. His parents, especially his dad, have put a lot of work into his game with him. To have parents as invested in him is important. Most of the time if you see a kid who is really good, they have parents who know what they are doing.”
Kuhn, who was honored prior to Shelbyville’s home contest with Connersville Saturday, averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game as a junior before being named an Indiana Junior All-Star.
His future college, Army West Point, is currently 3-5 this season. The team lost to Duke 94-72 on Nov. 11.
“(The rest of the season) is getting myself ready for the next level,” Kuhn said as SHS moved to 2-1. “But right now, we are focusing on what we are doing in the present. We want to win.”
Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.
Shelbyville vs. Columbus North
Final Score: 82-76 Columbus North in overtime
Player of Game: SHS senior guard Zach Kuhn