The typical Timber Creek boys basketball fan might watch senior Jon Hatcher play and attribute his success to size and natural ability. Not immediately visible are the qualities that go beyond the physical. To be coachable, dependable and diligent in class as well as on the court all make Hatcher a true team leader.
“Jon is a complete player,” said Timber Creek head coach Brad Mouser. “On the floor he does everything he is asked to do, and off the floor he is a great student. He is a great athlete to be able to coach.”
Hatcher’s work ethic is a credit to his parents’ influence in his life.
“When I was growing up playing basketball, my parents always told me if I didn’t keep my grades straight I couldn’t play,” he said. “I try to show the younger guys that basketball isn’t the only thing, that grades are important.”
Hatcher may work hard getting straight A’s, but the 6-4 forward still doesn’t give an inch on the court.
“I just try to lead by example and I come to practice and work hard every day,” he said. “You have to be willing to put time into what you want to attain. You can’t expect things without having to work hard for them.”
“When we get done with a game, he will definitely be the guy who has given everything to you,” Mouser said. “He averages 14 points per game and is our best defender. He balances everything really well.”
Hatcher is hoping to repeat his sophomore postseason experience this year.
“I want to make it back to the playoffs and hopefully win the district championship,” he said.
To get there, the Falcons have to work through some obstacles.
“This is the most talented team we have had since I started playing. In some ways it’s more difficult, because early in the season nobody wanted to step on each other’s toes and they held back,” Hatcher said. “Now we know how to play well together. The chemistry off the court is great and our chemistry is finally coming together on the court.”
“Several of the seniors have been on varsity together for a few years and they are a fun class to coach,” Mouser said. “Our challenge as a team is to step up and score better. When we put the ball in more consistently night in and night out, we’ll be a force to reckon with.”
Despite the possibility of continuing his career at the collegiate level, Hatcher stays focused on the task at hand.
“He’s such a smart kid,” Mouser said. “He has made the decision to do the best he can this year and he isn’t letting next year stress him out.”
“I already think we work hard, but we really beat up on each other in practice,” Hatcher said. “If we take what we do in practice into the games consistently, we’ll be fine.”
Hatcher also credits his coach for driving him to be a better athlete.
“I wouldn’t be the player I am without Coach Mouser,” he said. “We are both competitive, and he knows what buttons to push to bring out the best in me.”
Mouser returned the compliment.
“I’ve been coaching for 21 years and he is the kind of guy you want to see have success,” Mouser said. “He has a passion to make himself better on and off of the court and he is just a joy to coach.”