Friday Night Sports Hero: Jeron Gager
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - This week’s Friday Night Sports Hero features a four-year Varsity Basketball Player from Ogallala High School, Jeron Gager.
This name has become somewhat of a staple at an Ogallala Boys Basketball Game. Over the past four years, Gager has contributed greatly to the success of the program, so much so, that he recently earned his 1,000th career point when the Indians faced Sidney on January 13th.
To honor Gager for this incredible accomplishment, he was recognized before the Southwest Conference quarter-finals game against Valentine in front of his hometown crowd.
“It felt really amazing you know, just to enjoy the moment with them and the community behind me and all the guys that have been a part of this team forever. It just felt really great,” says Gager.
But what went into capturing that stat, is more than what most see. In fact, a lot of what went into reaching the 1,000th-point mark is more than what anyone sees.
Head Coach of the Indians Andy Gillen explains that it’s Gager’s work ethic and his dedication to the grind that makes him such a special player.
“Jeron just leads by example every day. I think the most special thing about Jeron is all the unseen hours. Jeron comes to practice every day like everybody else, but it’s the time that he spends by himself every day in the gym that makes him special and the guys respect that, so it’s definitely something that we lean on,” explains Gillen.
He’s also been playing on a club team with several other members of the Ogallala Basketball Team since the second grade.
“I’ve been playing with these guys since 2nd grade and they’ve just been part of my family,” says Gager.
There was also a great deal of learning from his parents, who are both also former basketball players themselves.
“I come from a big basketball family. We have a court in our backyard and I’ve just worked a lot with my dad, and he really got us into it...It gets competitive sometimes you know, a lot of us played. My mom was a runner-up in her day and my dad made it to the state tournament a couple of times, he’s been big. He played college ball at McCook and it’s just been a part of our family and everyone has really played,” explains Gager.
During his four years on the Varsity Team, Gager has made two trips, so far, to the State Tournament. In his Freshman Year, the team came in runner-up. Then during his Sophomore season, the team missed the State Tournament. Gager and the Indians returned to State his Junior Season and were eliminated in the first round.
So far in his Senior Season, Gager and the Indians are undefeated and look to keep it that way while also winning the Southwest Conference Tournament and making another run at the title.
At the conclusion of his high school career, Gager hopes to have left a lasting impression on the Ogallala Basketball Program. And with another portion of the season still left to play, Gillen says the full impact that Gager will have is to be determined.
“His senior year couldn’t be any better. We are hopefully going to continue that success and we’ll see,” says Gillen.
Gager plans to attend college and play basketball but is unsure of where at this time.