Cole Gilliland, son of Craig and Melanie Gillilland, fell in the love in the third grade. He fell in love with the feel of a basketball in his hand and the sound of a ball dribbling down a court. He gives much of the credit to his dad.
“I instantly fell in love with the game when my dad took me outside and put a ball in my hand,” Cole stated.
From there, his love continued to grow into a life full a accomplishments and milestones – most recently of which was scoring his 1,000 point of his basketball career at Clay High School, where he is a senior.
Going into the game, Cole only needed 14 more points, his dad explained. Craig further added how important this moment was for Cole’s school and family.
“He will only be the 6th man at Clay to accomplish this feat and the first male since Cam Thoroughman did it in 2005 (who went on to play college ball at West Virginia University). 1,000 scorers run in the family as Cole’s sister Lexie Gilliland (a sophomore who plays for Kentucky Christian University) was the last 1,000 scorer for Clay as she did it in 2015 and I scored a 1,000 for Valley way back in the day – in January of 1987,” Craig stated.
Cole explained that made the point in the fourth quarter on a free throw.
“I could tell everyone knew I only needed one more point because they were all screaming,” he stated. “It was amazing. And, it seemed like all my hard work finally paid off in that one free throw.”
Cole scored a total of 15 points in the game.
In addition to hitting the 1000th, Craig explained that Cole is a force on the court.
“Cole is currently averaging a ‘double-double’ with 17 points a game and 12 rebounds a game but also leads the team in 3 point field goal with making 43 percent of his long range shots,” he stated.
Craig added that Cole has led the Panthers in three point field goals for all four of his varsity years of high school and won the end of year Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) three point contest at the SOC All-Star game with his sister in 2015.
“This is really rare for the tallest player on the team to lead the team in rebounding and three pointing for several years in a row,” Craig said.
In addition to playing basketball, Cole plays baseball and played golf for two years. He is a member of the National Honor Society and been a class officer for three years.
Cole explained that though he is a senior he has not decided on a college or a major. He does not that he would like to continue playing basketball.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930 or on Twitter @nikkib45653.