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Q&A with Idabel’s John Paul Sumo – Presented by Mandy Knowles Shelter Insurance

On the Idabel High School basketball team, John Paul Sumo stands as a testament to dedication, skill and the transformative power of the sport. His journey, marked by influential coaches, supportive teammates, and impactful teachers, reveals the essence of his basketball career.

Reflecting on his favorite coaches, Coach Q and Coach Griffin, John Paul acknowledges their role in shaping his growth: “They push me to be better every day, and Coach Q can really relate to me because he was a small guard in high school, and he helps me out a lot.”

Teammates play an integral part in any athlete’s journey, and for John Paul, Josiah Fuller from his time at Norman High stands out. “He always supported me and gave me great advice to be better,” John Paul said.

As he delves into the past, John Paul fondly remembers Mrs. Cooper, his 5th-grade teacher: “She always helped me get my work done when I didn’t get it, and she always made sure I was never behind in class.”

The off-season becomes a crucial period for improvement, and John Paul has honed his skills diligently. “This off-season, I have really focused on my conditioning and confidence,” he said. “I worked on my confidence by taking game shots in practice and in scrimmages so I’m used to them when game time comes.”

Beyond the court, basketball imparts valuable life lessons. “It has taught me discipline, and this helps me make my everyday decisions throughout life,” John Paul said.

A defining memory in John Paul’s sports journey unfolds in an AAU game during his junior year: “We were playing a pretty good team, and we were in double overtime. There were like two seconds left, and I hit a buzzer-beater, and we won the game.”

Looking ahead, John Paul has ambitious goals for the upcoming season. “What I hope to accomplish this year is to win the gold ball—that’s the main goal. I also want to be an All-Stater and have a winning record.”

Anticipating key matchups, John Paul singles out Broken Bow and whoever stands in the state championship game. As for life after high school, he envisions playing college ball and venturing into real estate.

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