MCDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Former McDonald basketball standout Braedon Poole is making the most of his down time during the pandemic.
In high school, Poole was a 1,000-point scorer for the Blue Devils. He was often the most athletic player on the court and would typically dominate the undersized competition. Now in two years at Mount Union, he’s been forced to focus on different parts of his game at the next level.
“I’ve really improved my jump shot,” said Poole. “In high school, I didn’t really shoot outside much, but this last year I was a spot up shooter and shot a lot. So I think I’ve really grown in that aspect and I want to continue to grow.”
Speaking of growing, Poole now stands 6’5″ and just over 200 pounds. Over the past couple months, he dropped down to 180 pounds at one point, when he wasn’t working out as much and playing basketball.
“It’s hard to build back up from losing all that weight from two months and not being able to do anything,” he said. “So if I don’t lift or eat right it’s going to come off.”
Braedon is back on campus, but under Division III restrictions right now with the pandemic, he can’t work out on the court with teammates or coaches. So he trains on his own, typically 3-4 hours a day, five days a week.
“I’ve never really put in the work in the summer before like I should have in high school with lifting,” said Poole. “But I know it’s going to be all on me this year and a couple other players so I’ve got to be ready.”
Poole started as a sophomore this past season, leading the team with 6 rebounds per game.
The Purple Raiders were crowned Ohio Athletic Conference champions, won a program record 27 games, and advanced to the Sweet 16 for just the third time in school history. Then, the pandemic abruptly ended their season.
“We want to win as many games as we can next year and win the conference again,” said Poole. “The past two years we’ve been in the tournament so I don’t think we won’t expect anything less than that.”