BUHLER — One of Reno County and central Kansas’ most prolific basketball players is being traded.
Former high school basketball player Buhler and future senior Jack Voth and his family moved to North Carolina last week. Voth leaves Buhler as one of the best players in school history and led Buhler’s boys’ basketball team to the Class 4A State Tournament in Salina last season, finishing with a record of 18-5, AVCTL Div. League title III and substate championship 4A. Voth was also the league’s most valuable player.
The 6-foot-5 forward and postman will attend Hoggard High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, a school that went 23-6 last season.
“It will be a change, but I’m happy about it,” Voth said. “There’s a lot of opportunities there, not that there aren’t a lot of opportunities here, but over there it’s kind of known as a basketball state. So to pass to a basketball state as a basketball player is pretty exciting.”
Voth was the Class 4A men’s basketball player of the year and averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game his junior year.
Jack’s father, Brian, has found a new job, which is the reason for the family’s move. The 2021 Reno County Men’s Basketball Player of the Year is looking forward to the change.
“You can’t really complain about going from the meadow to the beach,” said Jack Voth. “I’m excited for that, but when it comes to basketball, I’m excited to hang out with my new teammates and build those relationships and get on the court with a new group of guys.”
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Remembering Buhler Basketball
Voth couldn’t forget the best memories he had from that last season. He said the 4A Substate Championship game against El Dorado was his favorite because of the atmosphere at the Jim Baker Fieldhouse and, of course, his victory after dropping several points in the game against the most hot from the conference.
“I remember sitting there in the locker room at half-time and everyone had their heads down, and I just said, ‘This game isn’t over. We’ve fought adversity all year,'” Voth said. “So we went out there, we fought back, and we ended up winning. They missed a last-second shot for us to win, and the crowd, everyone burst out, and the whole team is just in the middle (of the pitch) It was great, and it’s (the) moment that I will never forget.”
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Voth had a team-best 17 points in that game in March and hit a free throw to set Buhler up enough for El Dorado to settle for a honked 3-pointer that was too loud and missed.
“Hands down my favorite year of basketball I’ve ever played in,” Voth said. “I have to do it with my friends. My family was in the stands every game, and our team was a family (too). I want to thank everyone for that. I also want to thank the coach (Ryan Swanson ) because he has improved me as a person on and off the pitch, and he has helped me a lot in my recruitment since he is no longer coaching us. He works day in and day out just to help me to go to the next level.
Voth said he had received a few offers to play college basketball, but wanted to keep his recruiting private and enjoy it while he could. He said he planned to visit “a few great schools” when he and his family arrived in North Carolina. He played with Team Buddy Buckets over the summer to improve his game and for recruiting purposes.
Voth was “distraught” by the Ava Jones news
Voth became good friends with basketball player Nickerson and Iowa hires Ava Jones, after the 2021-22 basketball season ended. He and Jones have participated in several basketball recognitions together, including being named State Player of the Year for each of their classes and Reno County Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball Players of the Year. They have since grown closer as friends.
The day he didn’t get a response from her on Snapchat, he and his family became concerned for Jones, who had just announced her commitment to play women’s college basketball in Iowa two days before her hospitalization.
“When I heard what happened, my family and I were actually in the car, and we were upset about it, almost heartbreaking because it’s just bad luck for her,” Voth said. “I hope the best for his family and obviously rest in peace his father. I know he is in a better place now.
“It was tough because I texted him the first day I heard and asked if everything was ok. Not getting a response and just sitting there scrolling twitter waiting for an update was really hard because you never want to lose a close friend like that.”
Voth said he is back to communicate with Jones and hopes the best for his basketball journey and his and his family’s recovery.
“Prayers for them again,” Voth said. “My family and I pray for them every day. I really hope she gets well quickly because she’s a great girl, great person, great friend, great basketball player. She didn’t deserve this, but I think she’s going to make the most of it, and she’s going to bounce back.”
Billy Watson is the sports reporter for The Hutchinson News and has been in Kansas since March 2021. To pitch story ideas, you can email [email protected] or direct message on Twitter @hutchsports Where @billywatson4l.