It wasn’t easy, but making history seldom is.
Nonetheless, after Ottawa senior Semi Ojeleye racked up 26 points Tuesday at Eudora, there’s a new scoring king in Kansas high school basketball.
“It’s a blessing to be healthy this long, but it’s also a tribute to teammates and my coaches,” said Ojeleye, who will play for Duke next season. “I tried to put it out of my mind. Probably three games ago, I wasn’t even thinking about it, but as it got closer I couldn’t help but think about it. I was definitely feeling pressure to get it out there.”
Ojeleye entered the game needing 18 points to supplant Josh Reid, who scored 2,554 points during his career at Brewster during 1993-96, as the state’s all-time scoring leader.
With back-to-back three-pointers midway through the third quarter, Ojeleye tied Reid’s record before pulling ahead with a free throw later in the quarter. Ottawa went on to win 65-27 and improved to 19-0.
“I found out afterwards how much it wore on him,” Cyclones coach Jon McKowen said. “He was sitting on the bench after breaking the record and said, ‘Man, the hoop got small.’ ”
After securing the record, a relieved Ojeleye, who now has 2,563 career points, punctuated his performance with a thunderous dunk off an alley oop.
“He got a little emotion out and could finally just relax and play again,” McKowen said.
| Tod Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org