By Derrick Richmond
Jake Mooney’s ability to consistently get to the rack and use his strength to box opponents for rebounds sums up how Mooney has cemented himself as the best player in County this season.
West Forsyth’s 6-foot-7, 210-pound senior post Mooney is the Forsyth County News Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Mooney said his passion for basketball started in the driveway. At family gatherings, he would go out and shoot a hoop for fun.
West had his best season in school history with Mooney’s help. This year, the Wolverines became the first team in program history to win 20 games in a season, win a regional championship and advance to the second round of the state playoffs.
From the start of the season, the Wolverines clicked, and for Mooney, the season was a dream come true.
“We know each other because Liberty and Vickery are rival schools and they come together and make West,” Mooney said. “We said when we’re all together in high school we’re going to win a championship, and we finally did it all together. It’s amazing.”
Mooney was a standout in Wolverines’ high-scoring offense, averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
The way he was able to expand the floor was one of the factors that helped him shoot 44% from the 3-point line. Additionally, Mooney set a school-high single-season scoring record with 588.
Mooney’s best game came when he busted for 29 points and set a school record for rebounds with 24 in a 93-82 win over Lambert.
“As a team, we didn’t play well in the first half. But it was senior night, so we just went out and lit up. I couldn’t ask for better teammates,” Mooney said.
Mooney is continuing his basketball career at Georgia College and State University, where he plans to study business.
Mooney’s teammates say his style of play resembles NBA star Nikola Jokić.
“I think that’s a great comparison in the NBA,” Mooney said. “He’s a big one who could push the ground, dribble, shoot and pass very well. I’d like to be more of a stretch four.
Mooney racked up the post-season accolades, representing West by being the first player in the program to be selected to the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association’s Class 7A men’s basketball team. He was also named Region 6-7A Player of the Year, Forsyth County Tip-off Club Player of the Year, and Region 6-7A Tournament Most Valuable Player.