One of the most skilled prospects in the entire 2022 class, Jaxon Kohler spoke with me regarding his next chapter at Michigan State, his senior season at Southern California Academy (CA), and more.
The 6-foot-10 forward could have easily been selected as a McDonald’s All American and after averaging 19.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG on the national stage with nationally ranked Southern California Academy (CA) during the 2021-2022 high school season.
Kohler holds elite versatility and fits the modern next level forward that NBA scouts and personnel have been intrigued with. He can pop out on the perimeter and knock down three’s, score from the post, has tremendous offensive footwork, rebounds at a very high level, and consistently shows he can protect the rim with his presence.
After playing his junior season at American ForK (UT), Jaxon transferred to Southern California Academy (CA) for his last year of high school.
“My last season with SCA was everything I could ask for. I had the best of the best coach to keep pushing me everyday to become a better player, I got to play against the best competition in practice everyday, and play against some of the best teams in the country on a national schedule that’s very similar to a college schedule!” Jaxon told me.
“I had great teammates this year and I felt like we went out on a good note. Unfortunately we did not make GEICO Nationals, but that just adds motivation for college. Overall I loved every minute with coach Julius Von Hanzlik at Southern California Academy this year.” He continued to tell me after asking him how was his experience this past season.
Jaxon has committed to play college basketball next season at Michigan State under hall of fame head coach Tom Izzo. He chose the Spartans over schools like Iowa, Illinois, BYU, Grand Canyon, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and more.
I asked Jaxon why did he decide to attend Michigan State over all those other programs? He told me that they Michigan State has a swag to them, they play with intensity, and are not afraid of competition. He also stated that they fit his personality.
“On the court I play as hard as I can every time. I like to yell, keep things intense, and I have a certain swag about myself and I love that. Plus, it’s in the Big Ten. That’s the place they utilize their big men and that’s where I wanna be.” He says.
“Also, they have very good history of sending their big men to the NBA.” Jaxon says. He told me him and Tom Izzo have always had a good connection between them ever since their first encounter.
“I know that he can get me better and he can push me to become the best player I can be. I can’t have someone telling me that I’m great and you’ll be great! No, I have to be coached by someone who is always yelling and pushing me to become not only physically stronger, but mentally stronger. Plus Coach Izzo is a legendary name and he’s in the hall of fame. He can teach me so much about the game. So that’s why I wanna come to Michigan State.” Kohler says, continuing to praise on Michigan State and Tom Izzo.
I asked what does he feel like he can bring to the Michigan State program next season?
“I feel like I can be someone who we can throw it into and get a quick bucket. More importantly I feel like I can bring a type of energy and desire into the team that will make this team level up from last year. From the weight room, training, and to the games. I’ll be the one in training pushing our guys for more reps, I’ll be the guy asking people to stay after practice, and do some extra drills. Whether I’m in the game or on the bench, I’ll be cheering and doing everything I can for this team. I wanna win that chip. I feel like I have the ability to push guys harder to become better and being a team leader.” He went on to answer.
Now the 6-foot-10 forward is extremely skilled, as stated before, but he has a high work ethic and loves the grind on getting better each and everyday.
I asked him what would he like to improve on or what he needs to improve on as he grows in the game?
“One thing I can still work on with my game is probably my body and my outside game. I need to have as many face up moves as my post moves. I’m not gonna be the biggest anymore going into college, so I need to use my outside game to my advantage. This off season I’ve asked myself this same question and for the last 2-3 months I’ve been working on my ball handling, my shooting, face up moves, and attacking the basket. On the other hand, I also need to work on my body and become stronger. I’ve been working on my diet and building upper and lower body strength for my freshman season.” Jaxon says.
The sky is the limit for the incoming freshman and Tom Izzo has a prospect that is willing to learn and do whatever it takes to win.