HS Basketball: Bismarck’s Jahner handling high expectations

National Sports

Junior Joe Jahner impresses his coaches before he even takes a dribble.

“The first thing you notice when you see Joe is his stature, his physical stature,” head coach Jordan Wilhelm said. “He doesn’t look like a junior in high school.”  

The 6-foot, 200-pound junior has been on BHS varsity since freshman year, and he said his offensive game has made him a matchup nightmare.

“The defender won’t know what I’m going to do because I can shoot, I can drive, and I can pull up,” Jahner said.

Coach Wilhelm said that Jahner’s so good offensively that people may not notice his skills on defense.

“His ability to stay in a stance and guard people. He can guard any position. You talk one through five. There aren’t very many guys, if any guys in our league, that he can’t defend,” Wilhelm said.

But with a great reputation comes greater responsibility. 

“The expectations are higher for him than they’ve ever been,” Wilhelm said. “We want him to get to a point where he can play consistently and be ready to play 25 to 30 minutes a night while staying out of foul trouble and still defending the best players on other teams.”

But Jahner is ready to push himself.

“I know I’m going to be a big leader on the team. I have to motivate my team and all that,” Jahner said.

And where he wants to lead them is to their first state title since 2010.

“That’s kind of what I want to do, to be remembered as in high school, like ‘He was a championship player,'” Jahner said. “And for my teammates, I want that for them too, because I know how bad they want it.”

The Demons are 2-0 so far and next host Jamestown Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.

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