The Captain

The Captain

Northland High School senior boys basketball player Jared Sullinger doesn't take for granted the value of having older brothers.

As honor after honor have come his way, the 6-foot-9 senior who has been named Super 12 captain for the second consecutive season doesn't let individuality get into his head.

"It's not hard (to stay humble)," said the Ohio State-signee, who also made the Super 12 as a freshman and sophomore. "I've got (brothers) Julian (Sullinger) and J.J. (Sullinger) constantly on my back. I can't let the individual stuff override team goals."

Sullinger, who is the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,972 career points, earned another big honor March 10, being named the Naismith Player of the Year.

Sullinger averaged 23.1 points and 12 rebounds and played in the McDonald's All-Star game last Wednesday at Ohio State.

Northland went 95-4 after Sullinger joined the program, and one of the losses occurred during his sophomore season when he was not in uniform.

While Sullinger's mental game became a strength last season, he believes a focus on improving his physical skills has helped him improve in 2009-10.

"My conditioning and athletic ability are better, and I've been able to finish over more athletic players," Sullinger said. "I've been working on (ball-handling) skills because sometimes I have to step out and get a rebound and take it down the floor. This year has been my most successful season because I've played hard every game."

Sullinger is the second member of his family to be named the captain, joining J.J. Sullinger, who was the captain as a senior in 2001 at Thomas Worthington. Julian Sullinger made the Super 12 team in 2004 as a senior at Northland.

"I think he's had a phenomenal year," said his father and coach, Satch Sullinger. "Jared's a winner. We run a program and not a star system, and his field-goal percentage speaks highly of where he's at. He's won four City championships, a state championship and three AAU national championships."

•PAST CAPTAINS --Other past captains were Canal Winchester's B.J. Mullens (2008), Eastmoor Academy's Ron Steward (2007), Reynoldsburg's Javonte' Clanton (2006), Brookhaven's Jamelle Cornley (2004, 2005), Andrew Lavender (2003), Dublin Coffman's Chris Quinn (2002), Worthington Christian's Sam Smith (2000), Columbus West's Isaac Jefferson (1999), Brookhaven's Antwain Lavender (1998), Westland's Doug Davis (1996, 1997), Westerville North's Shaun Stonerook (1995) and Eastmoor's Lamont Barnes (1994).