OGDEN – Cody John’s journey to a senior night for a college basketball program was anything but safe.
John left his home in the Toronto area at the age of 13 in order to become the first in his family to attend college, hoping to make basketball his ticket by attending Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant , Utah – a college preparation internship for students in grades 8 to 8. 12.
And it was only the beginning of the journey that ended with John becoming the 36th player in Weber State history to score 1,000 career points.
“He was bitten by a snake, there’s no question about it,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “A little guy or another player may have said” it’s not worth it. “… It’s not Cody John. He’s going to keep fighting.”
The private school was at the beginning of his efforts to recruit international players, and John played college basketball with future Utah State / Marquette guard Koby McEwen and Santa Clara forward Josip Vrankic, each from from the Toronto area. In his senior season, he averaged 19.1 points per game.
Rahe said he saw John playing for the first time during the AAU Summer Ball when he went to watch and recruit someone else.
“But all summer, Cody was the one who kept hitting on me because he played hard and made games. He was just a good solid player,” said Rahe.
Although Weber State did not offer John, Rahe said he ultimately needed a guard and his staff immediately went to Mount Pleasant to formally recruit the 6-foot-3 guard.
John received overtures from Iona, Saint Bonaventure, Utah Valley, southern Utah and, at the end of Colorado.
“Coming here, I felt like a family, it was authentic, nothing seemed wrong. It seemed like the right choice for me, “said John, and Weber State was his choice.
John’s freshman stats aren’t there, but in more than 30 games, he averaged 4.4 points and 1.5 assists per game, averaging just one roll in 17 minutes per night. on guard on the bench for a team that played 26-8 and beat Montana. to go to the NCAA tournament.
In the second year, John started 28 of 34 games and helped WSU to the brink of another appearance in the NCAA tournament before the train left the track late in the Big Sky title game against North Dakota.
John played just three minutes each in two subsequent CIT games, and then stopped playing for almost 20 months. He suffered a back injury which ultimately resulted in a fractured vertebrae in the lower back.
But after missing a season, his junior year arrived in 2018 and John was a full-time starter, scoring 22 points in 37 minutes in San Diego when he returned to the court.
“It’s just not in my DNA, I’m just giving up. That’s all I know, basketball. I couldn’t throw in the towel, I had to try to see if I could come back and play with this injury, “he said.
John played an average of 16 points per non-conference game before the next snake bite.
“He works his tail, lives in the gymnasium, gets back in shape and then, at the start of the conference, he injures his heel severely,” said Rahe.
After John’s training hours during the 2019 conference calendar, he made his way behind the scorer’s table, took off a shoe, cut a thick strip of tape around his heel, and then put his foot in a bucket ice cream.
“It was bad. He took care of it for two months. He played through, and I don’t know how he did it, ”said Rahe.
Then, ready to join Jerrick Harding as a lethal duo of senior guards in the Big Sky this season, John had to endure a pair of glasses. After recovery went from three weeks to five extended, John’s best physical condition in his career deteriorated and he entered the 2019-20 season with limited pre-season preparation – something that would affect more Later his rear mate Harding, who lost his preseason to a foot procedure to treat the causes of a stress fracture.
But here it is, after playing all 27 games of the season entering this weekend’s championship against Portland State and Idaho State. With the availability of other scheduled starters limited to different points or removed, John averages 34.1 minutes per game.
He went from a player with a basket shooting / 3 point / free throw percentage of 36.8 / 15.5 / 60.5 in the first year to 42.4 / 34.5 / 83.1 in senior.
John entered the weekend tied for 16th on the 1,240-point WSU score list and will pass at least 15th to finish his career.
And he graduated this spring with a diploma in professional sales.
“It was a bumpy road for sure, but I just got through the storm,” he said. “Nothing has ever come easily to me, there is always something that has arisen all my life but I always find a way to get through it.”
Rahe said that what drew him to John as a basketball player in the first place and what earned him his respect was his work ethic, his consistency, being sure of his best skills and don’t try to do more than he could.
“He’s a fantastic kid,” said Rahe. “He wants to win. That’s all that interests him. If we win and it scores zero, it’s good. He had a big impact on our program with his attitude and the strength with which he works every day. “