Jayce Catchings (right) talks with coach Sodemann. Catchings is a student on the court and in the classroom.

Eric Mason

Balling On and Off the Court

Junior Jayce Catchings works hard on and off the court

January 15, 2019

Balancing school work and time for sports is a tough job. Not only is junior Jayce Catchings a great basketball player, but he does well in the classroom as well.

In his second year at Liberty, Catchings has excelled in his game and is one of the most consistent shooters in the state this year. A season removed from being a good role player that came up big in some games, he has turned into a scoring machine becoming one of the top scorers in the St. Louis area. Balancing what he is doing on the court with his time in school work is difficult.

“It’s definitely a grind balancing both on court activities and off-court activities,” Catchings said. “It takes a good idea of time management putting the idea of being a student before being an athlete.”

If there’s one place to see Catchings at when he isn’t doing school work, he is most likely going to be in the gym lifting weights, conditioning or working on his basketball skills. Senior Kent Lawson is one of his teammates who has noticed how focused he is to get better as time goes on.

“He’s a gym rat that’s determined to work hard and reach his goals,” Lawson said.

When Catchings isn’t dribbling or shooting a basketball, he is focused on getting his work done and obtaining good grades in school. His passion for the game of basketball is strong, but getting the knowledge he needs in school is what’s most important to him.

Coach Sodemann appreciates how good of a student Catchings is in school along with his work ethic to become better at basketball.

“His drive to be better and to work [on his basketball skills] is unlike any other that I have seen,” Sodemann said.

As Catchings does his part on being a good student, he also does his part on a team that does best when everyone is doing their job. At the end of the day when he isn’t working on school, in the gym or with any of his friends, his mom is what means everything to him. Mostly everything revolves around his mom as he takes inspiration from athletes that put their mom first.

“At the end of it all, she’s the one who takes care of me and makes sure I’m settled with everything,” Catchings said.

Being a student-athlete is a tough job for anyone and no one said that it’s easy but at the end of the day, Catchings does what he has to do to make his future bright.

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