Cole Bothun

January 17, 2018 06:36 PM

(ABC 6 News) – Entering the 2017-2018 boys basketball season, the Schaeffer Academy Lions lost a significant chunk of scoring from the 2016-2017 team—but as of Wednesday, the Lions are 10-4, and riding high on the hardwood, because their senior leader is playing with for a bigger purpose.

“We want to play all out this year,” senior guard Cole Bothun said. “This is our last year; we want to leave everything on the floor.”


Bothun, who is the Lions’ leading scorer this season (per Minnesota Basketball Hub, Bothun is averaging a team-best 18.6 points per game and shooting 57.4% from the floor), he said he “learned a lot” from seniors like Josiah Nelson, Micah Hunskor, and Jared Lowe from the 2016-2017 team.

“They led by example,” Bothun said. “I think their aggressiveness on the court and their leadership was a good push for us seniors on the team now.”

Bothun, who was the Lions’ 4th-leading scorer a season ago, is a captain and the go-to-guy in 2017-2018.

“He’s just what every coach dreams of having as a captain,” Lions head coach T.J. Burget said. “He’s what you want as one of your good players, his hands-on approach with everything; he’s almost like a voice on the court out for me too. When he’s out on the floor, he really makes everyone excited.”

“He’s just an amazing kid. He’s an outstanding leader; he really is a great student-athlete.”

Bothun hasn’t been at Schaeffer Academy for a long time—he transferred from Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul before his sophomore season.

“He stepped in, went through some growing pains, but through all of that, I think it has made him a lot better basketball player and a leader,” Burget said. “With his talent, and this may be bulletin-board material, I think we can play with any team in Class A.”

On the hardwood, Bothun is a fearless competitor who wants to win, but in the end, for him and the Lions, it’s about playing for a bigger purpose.

“Winning is always great, but knowing for this team, we’re all playing for an audience of one, we’re playing for God’s glory in the end,” Bothun said. “It doesn’t matter in the end if we win or lose, but making sure we’re growing as a team and making sure these guys know the importance of individual growth and just growing with each other.”

Bothun and the Lions return to the floor Friday versus Glenville-Emmons.


Sean Tehan

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