WEST CHICAGO – The statistics John Konchar put up this winter are nearly unfathomable.
Along with a scoring output of 28.9 points per game, the West Chicago senior posted eye-popping averages of 14.1 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.5 blocks per contest, all in just 32 minutes of work.
But ultimately, the number that meant the most to him was 17, as in the amount of victories that the Wildcats finished with during the 2013-14 season.
“My first two years [on the varsity] didn’t go as well as I wanted them to,” Konchar said. “This last season made it so much better and I hope they can keep it up next year. Everyone practiced hard all the time and everyone contributed.”
Konchar credits offseason work, which included playing with the Illinois Basketball Academy, for his continued improvement after averaging 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds as a junior. He also admitted to surprising himself at times this winter, including when he posted 49 points and 27 rebounds in a game against South Elgin.
“I almost outrebounded their whole team, which shocked me,” said Konchar, who was starting back up with the IBA this week after taking a short break from basketball. “I didn’t think I’d ever do that.”
While the 6-foot-4 guard/forward would rather talk about the team than himself, one person that has no trouble discussing the senior is his coach, Bill Recchia, who was the all-time leading scorer at the school before Konchar broke the mark this winter.
“I think any accolades he gets from now to when they stop handing out awards are well earned and well deserved,” Recchia said. “He took his game to a level that hasn’t been seen around here in quite some time.”
Making his production stand out even more was the fact that every opponent came into games with a gameplan to slow him down.
“That’s the thing, every opponent was preparing for John, to stop John, to get the ball out of his hands,” Recchia said. “To still put up the numbers he put up when the defense is centered around him makes his numbers more extraordinary.”
One such opponent that attempted to curtail Konchar and ultimately failed was St. Charles North, which West Chicago played in the regular season finale. After he went for 45 points, North Stars coach Tom Poulin had some high praise for Konchar.
“He’s the best player we’ve seen this year,” Poulin said. “He’s a couple steps ahead of everybody. What makes him difficult is he can do it all. He can shoot the 3, he can handle the basketball, he can make his teammates better, he can go right, he can go left. He’s a smart basketball player, he’s long and he plays really hard.”
While Konchar certainly caught the attention of Poulin and other opposing coaches, it has taken him a little longer to catch the eye of college recruiters. Chicago State and Division II Notre Dame College of Ohio are the only schools to have offered a scholarship though others are starting to join the party. He has talked to schools on the east coast recently such as Rider and Northeastern along with IPFW, and expects to start taking visits sometime in the near future.