By Joey Keleman
Friday night, the Westlake Demons were able to remain undefeated, with a 66-40 victory over the North Olmsted Eagles, and continue to be a dominant force in the Southwestern Conference.
Leading the attack was Westlake’s 6 foot, 9 inch forward Gavin Skelly.
Skelly can do it all, from running fast breaks, to three-point shooting and crowd erupting dunks. He is averaging 20 points per game on the season, and finished Friday’s contest with 21 points – including a massive dunk – 4 blocks, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
When asked what it felt like to be able to remain unbeaten, Skelly simply stated, “We know we have targets on our backs, and I tell the guys we have to come ready to play every game, no matter who the opponent is.”
Skelly is looked upon as a leader on and off the court by his teammates and coaches. He’s gone through the process and the system playing varsity basketball all four years.
“I’m the head chief,” he said. “Mistakes and victories both lay on you, so it’s a plus at times, and a minus at other times.”
An example of his leadership showed on Friday when Skelly played, for the first time in his career, an entire high school basketball game, not sitting for a single minute. His coaches challenged him and he was able to rise to the occasion.
Playing along-side Skelly is Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown’s son, Cameron Brown. Having the basketball mind of Coach Brown around the fellas is quite an advantage for any player, especially one that will continue playing in Big Ten, NCAA competition this time next year. However, Coach Brown will not over step his boundaries at Demons practices, but Skelly still looks to pick his mind a little bit when given the opportunity.
“Coach Brown is great,” Skelly stated. “I’ll try to make small talk with him every now and then when I see him around. It’s also great to have a teammate like ‘Cam’ on the team, who comes from a basketball-oriented family like the Browns.”
Prior to the start of the 2013-2014 season, Skelly announced his commitment to attend Northwestern University on an athletic scholarship, where he will continue his basketball career in the fall of 2014. He had a total of 15 full scholarship offers from various schools, including Bucknell University, The University of Notre Dame, Stanford University and Butler University.
“Northwestern seemed to stick out to me the most,” Skelly stated. “(Each school) had their pros and cons.”
With his stature, Skelly will potentially be slotted at the power forward position for the Wildcats, which runs a “Princeton Style” offense. He should have no problem adapting into the playing style under the newly-hired head coach at Northwestern, Chris Collins. The Wildcats run the floor with a fast-break mentality, just like the Demons have done all season. Skelly will be joined at Northwestern by other highly rated recruits coming from areas ranging from California to Chicago.
Skelly can be quite a character on and off the court. He is full of energy, always enthusiastic and seems to always be laughing or joking around with his peers.
“I’m a goofball,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of energy and I love life!”
An interesting side note on the basketball star, Skelly will be looking to have a little more fun with high school sports in the spring, when he will seek to be the Demons first baseman on the baseball team.
Editor’s note: Joey Keleman is a senior at North Olmsted High School, who will be giving a unique perspective on high school sports from a peer’s-eye-view for West Side Sports. Keleman played varsity football in the fall and plays baseball in the spring, for NOHS, and in the summer, for T3 Performance in Avon. Keleman plans to pursue a journalism degree while playing baseball next year at Mount Union University.