• Fri Feb 19th, 2010 12:15am
  • Sports

Senior, University of Puget Sound

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Everett (Everett High)

What he did: Scored team-high 18 points in a near-upset of first-place Whitworth last week, then added 10 in a loss to Whitman.

What’s next: The Loggers (8-15) host Pacific (Ore.) tonight and Lewis &Clark on Saturday in the final two games of the regular season.

The two-minute drill

During your first three years at UPS, you hit double figures in scoring only six times, and yet you’ve done it eight times in the past 10 games. So what’s working for you lately?

I’ve just been a little bit more aggressive shooting the ball. I’ve gotten better looks the last couple of games, and shots have been falling for me.

Against first-place Whitworth on Friday night, you guys led by 11 in the first half but eventually lost. So what happened?

I don’t know. It’s been a pretty consistent pattern for us to be up at halftime and lose. Teams seem to go on runs against us, and we don’t seem to have any answers. In that game, we were in a tough environment. We were making a lot of shots in the first half, and then they weren’t going down for us, for whatever reason.

In that game, you were 6-for-11 from behind the 3-point line. Did your mom teach you to shoot like that?

(Laughs) My mom and my dad. They’re both great shooters. I put in a lot of time with them.

That may have sounded like a cruel joke to those who don’t know who your mother is, but she really is a great athlete. Jo (Metzger) Levin was one of the best basketball players in Snohomish County history. So how long did it take before you could beat her in a game of 1-on-1?

It took a little while. She used to just stand back there and shoot, and I couldn’t guard her. So it probably wasn’t until middle school. Her foot speed had slowed a little, and I could go around her. But she can still shoot.

And she was athletic director at Everett High while you went there. What was the most embarrassing “mom” moment while the two of you were roaming the halls together at EHS?

She got the nickname Shoulder Lean because it sounds like Jo Levin. It was a dance move, the shoulder lean. My senior year, she started doing it at pep assemblies. I wouldn’t say it was all that embarrassing, though. It was funny.

What’s she up to now that she is no longer AD there?

She’s just a PE teacher now. I think being the athletic director got a little overwhelming. She’s always been into helping kids, and she wanted to keep doing that. She’s really liking it, just being a PE teacher.

Changing the subject: you now go to school in Tacoma, which has turned into quite a hoops hotbed with guys like Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Abdul Gaddy. So where does Everett rank when it comes to homegrown basketball talent?

Oh, man. I’m trying to think of players who have been at Everett. It’s been awhile. There are a lot of good players up there, but not any big names. There’s a lot of good talent. Plus, Tacoma has more people. But Everett has some good talent up there.

Comcast Arena or the Tacoma Dome?

I’ve never actually played at either one. I go to a lot of hockey games in Everett, and I like it a lot. I saw Kanye West there. I haven’t seen any shows at the Tacoma Dome. But there are a lot of good concerts coming up, so I hope to get to one this summer.

This is your last year of college basketball, and although you’ve had some personal success, UPS has struggled to win games over the years. How frustrating as that been?

It’s been a frustrating season in a lot of aspects. It’s been fun, though. The team has stayed together; we’ve stayed together as friends. I don’t know of any reason, but it’s just not gone our way. We’re pretty young. We don’t have a junior class, so we’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores, which can be good and bad. We’re going to be good in the future. But it’s been a frustrating season.

Sounds like the Loggers should make Jo Metzger the focus of next year’s recruiting class?

She could be. They need a shooter for next year.

— Scott M. Johnson, The Herald