Jack Rose, who led Westosha Central to the WIAA Division 2 state semifinal has been named Player of the Year by Southern Lakes Newspapers. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Westosha sharpshooter leads Falcons to state tournament, gears up for college play

By Mike Ramczyk

Correspondent

Jack Rose is a throwback.

The four-sport star, who has received all-conference honors in volleyball, football and basketball in his four years at Westosha Central, wore a varsity baseball jersey on a warm, sunny day outside of Central High School Monday afternoon.

Rose, who also is a pretty darn good baseball player for the first place Falcons, brought his basketball for a very important photo shoot.

After all, he was named the 2022 Southern Lakes Newspapers All-Area Boys Basketball player of the year, and rightly so, after leading the area’s best team, the 25-3 Falcons, to their second Division 2 state tournament in school history.

During a recent interview he said he can’t play summer club basketball like he usually does this year – he’s too old – so playing varsity baseball seemed like the fun move.

It’s one last hurrah as a Falcon after Rose earned first team All-SLC honors in the fall after leading his squad to the Division 1 state runner-up finish and then shooting his Falcons back to Madison for state basketball.

Rose, who was born in Kenosha and attended a Kenosha elementary school before moving to Bristol, grew up playing club basketball with Falcons teammates Kenny Garth and Devin Griffin, and the inseparable trio conjured up memories of the 2018 state-bound Falcons and Jaeden Zackery.

But this year’s squad got even closer to the pinnacle of high school basketball.

Rose went off for 18 points in a Division 2 state semifinal, and he burst to the hole with his team down one with less than a minute to go. Rose beat his man off the dribble and laid the ball up off the glass, but it just barely rimmed out and Westosha lost, 52-51.

With as smooth as a jump shot as you will ever see at the high school level, Rose proved at the Kohl Center he is a big-time player, something he’s done the past three seasons, and further solidified why Division 1 college basketball teams are salivating over his skills.

Rose still isn’t decided on a team for next year, but he’s received D1 offers from Big Ten’s Maryland, UWM and George Washington.

He just loves to compete and loves his teammates, so the baseball jersey and basketball were fitting for his big photo shoot.

And oh yeah, he’s over the state loss.

“I think about our state game all the time, but don’t try and only look at the negatives or have the mindset of we should have done this or that,” Rose said Monday. “We could’ve come out on top with the game plan we stuck with and all could’ve done something better during the course of that game. One more made free throw, one more offensive rebound, one more made layup and we have a totally different game on our hands. The outcome of that game unfortunately didn’t go our way, but we learned a lot and were very successful throughout the whole season. We got to play at the Kohl Center and showcase our talents in front of many dedicated fans, showing tons of support.”

It was an epic run, and thanks to 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and a stellar 37 percent from 3-point land, Rose was a WBCA and AP all-state and all-county selection, along with being named the Southern Lakes Conference player of the year.

SLN Correspondent Mike Ramczyk recently caught up with Rose to talk about the advantages of playing multiple sports, college basketball and unforgettable memories with his teammates.

SLN: What does it mean to win player of the year?

JR: To be named player of the year definitely means a lot and shows the work that I have put in over the course of the past four years. I have had goals since freshman year and worked hard to be the best teammate and player I could possibly be while achieving these goals.

SLN: What a magical ride to state. What were your favorite moments?

JR: Some of my favorite moments were ones made off the court with teammates that I could call family. Being with these guys every day was an honor and something that I will look back on and miss forever. We had endless laughs and competed every day to make each other better.

Team breakfast at Bristol 45 Diner, the bus rides, sleepovers with the guys, and the night in Madison, are just a very few of the unforgettable experiences Central basketball allowed me to be a part of.

SLN: Why is being a multi-sport athlete important to you?

JR: Being a multi-sport athlete often means I am always on the go. It is something that doesn’t last forever, and I feel that I need to take advantage of it while I can. I won’t be able to go to college and continue to be a multi-sport athlete.

I will focus my time on getting better on the basketball court and that’s it. I am an athlete and excel in many sports that I take part in. I feel that I would let my teams down if I didn’t participate in sports other than basketball. I have gained tons of knowledge and have so many unforgettable memories in volleyball, football, and baseball.

SLN: Why were you so successful on the basketball court this season?

JR: Being successful on the court starts with my coaches and teammates, followed by the work I put in while nobody sees. My coaches put so much time and hard work into getting us better. They had a vision just like we did, and they made sure we stayed on course.

Coach Hyllberg was always on us to get us better. We listened to the message, not the tone, and it motivated us. My teammates put me in positions to succeed. I had to battle in practice because everyone played so hard. We had a drive to win, and it started in practice. We took every drill seriously and always competed.

SLN: What will you cherish most about being a Falcon?

JR: The biggest thing is the relationships I have built with so many different teammates and coaches. The school spirit and the community behind us makes every game or event fun. I feel that the class of 2022 is one of the most talented classes to ever come through Central, and we will leave a legacy that will last forever.

SLN: What makes a good basketball player? What can you improve on at the next level?

JR: A good basketball player isn’t someone who can only score. A lot of people especially at a younger age look to only score the ball. Defense leads to offense, and you can’t score more than someone if you aren’t stopping them.

Doing the little things right and working hard is what takes players to the next level. Taking charges, boxing out and hustling for loose balls are all ways to impact the game in other ways than scoring.

At the next level I need to become a better on-ball defender and be ready to shoot the ball off screens. I also feel that I could be a better ball handler, but I feel that no one is going to work harder on the court than I do.

SLN: What advice do you have for a kid that wants to be the next Jack Rose?

JR: Some pieces of advice I would have for younger kids would be to stay in the gym and keep working hard. There are tons of kids who want to get better and who are putting in the work when no one is around.

I would also say cherish every moment in high school. Everyone says it goes by fast, but trust me, it really does. Be the best version of yourself and don’t let anyone knock you off track of becoming a better athlete, but most importantly a better person.

 

Meet Jack Rose

 

  • Basketball is: more than a sport. I have met lifelong friends and have developed many characteristics through the recruiting process that I will use to better myself in life.

 

  • I am the player of the year because: of my hard work and determination.

 

  • Favorite show: Outer Banks

 

•   Song: “What Happened to Virgil” by Lil Durk

 

•   Movie: Hoosiers

 

  • Favorite Social Media: Snapchat

 

  • One thing people don’t know about me: I love to hunt and fish.

 

  • Pregame food ritual: Wild Berry Skittles

 

  • If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why? Kevin Durant. He has been my favorite basketball player forever.