By Greg Seiter
Few high school basketball players have been part of a national championship team and perhaps even fewer can say they’ve been recognized as the best at their position, but Greenwood resident Jake Rosko earned both of those designations this year. The senior shooting guard, in his first season as a full-time starter, helped guide the Indianapolis Wildcats varsity basketball team to this year’s National Homeschool Varsity Basketball Championship in March, then learned he had been named National Homeschool Basketball Boys 2019 Defensive Player of the Year one month later.
“As a team, we’ve matured a lot over the last three years, and this season was the culmination,” he says. “We learned not to worry about outside distractions and to focus on playing well together.”
Jake takes classes through Lumen Christi Catholic School in downtown Indianapolis but like many of his teammates doesn’t have the opportunity to participate in high school athletics due to a lack of sufficient enrollment numbers.
“Lumen Christi is K-12 with about 90 kids, but there are only about 15 in the high school,” says Scot Rosko, Jake’s father and an assistant coach for the Wildcats. The Indianapolis Wildcat Organization, which is based on the south side of Indianapolis and offers competitive basketball for boys and girls from Grade 4 through 12, attracts home-school players from many areas and calls The Gathering Place in Greenwood its home court.
According to Scot, the core group of players on this year’s national championship team consisted of one player from Franklin, one from Whiteland, two from Greenwood and one from Indianapolis.
The Wildcats are part of the National Christian Homeschool Organization. Within that, they compete in the Indiana Conference but play a schedule that features teams from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. However, the boys varsity squad in particular also plays games against a few public schools. In fact, three of its regular-season wins this year came against Indianapolis Manual High School, South Bend Adams High School and Indianapolis Tech High School.
The team posted a 32-6 record during the 2018-19 campaign and won its last 19 games. Jake wasn’t the only team member to receive individual recognition. Senior Myles Johnson from Indianapolis was named Regional Player of the Year, and junior Noah Shook from Franklin was recognized as Regional Sharp Shooter of the Year.