If you’re an athlete, there are few things that beat the feeling of winning a big game.
Those wins are even sweeter when you’re able to do it with good friends.
For my Athlete of the Week, that’s his biggest motivation when he’s on the court.
“As a former college coach, I would take a chance on somebody like that. I think he can give a lot to a lot of programs,” says Owego head coach Chris Evans.
The Owego boy’s basketball team and head coach Chris Evans know they have someone special in Christian Sage.
The senior is among the most electrifying players in the area.
His coach says that while the athleticism is natural, the skill set was something that came with hard work.
“He’s so fast. He’s quick, he’s really skillful. I try to tell people that when he was in 7th grade, 8th grade, He couldn’t do any of this. So, credit to him, because his skill level had to catch up to his athletic level. You’ll see a lot of players, that never happens. And he made it happen. He worked a long time in the off-season. Basketball is one of those sports that you have to put in the time in the off-season to have that skill level catch up. And credit to him, he did that.”
Another thing Christian brings to the court is a strong, positive mentality.
While putting up a bunch of points is great, there’s something that he wants to achieve even more than a lengthy stat sheet.
“I like winning. Just have always liked to win. I kind of like being the hardest worker, it makes me feel good about myself. Especially winning, like as a team, it makes me feel good because we’re all a unit. Just winning, I like winning,” Sage said.
However, Sage knows that you can’t win every game, and that’s where his supporting cast comes into play.
Christian is thankful for the support he gets win or lose from his family, both immediate and extended.
“Any time I’m down, they’re there for me. Just like Kobe, he’s like my family too, he’s like my brother. Any time I’m down, they’re there for me. Usually when you had a good game or something, everyone’s texting you. But, when you had a bad game, no one’s really texting you. It’s kind of just who’s there for you, who’s really close to you, like your family.”
Christian and Kobe’s friendship began back in 1st grade, and Christian has his brother, Parker, to thank for the connection.
“Here’s a story. He actually was not my friend first. He was my little brother’s friend first. So, at the Boy’s Club, there was an indoor soccer league or something. And Kobe was there, playing basketball, and so was my little brother, Parker. They met each other, and became really good friends. Then, one day, Kobe came over, and we were just best friends since then.”
That bond has led to a lot of great times on the court and football field, including a great deal of wins.
While Bogart is Sage’s closest friend, he’s certainly not his only.
As coach Evans told me, Christian is one of the most well-liked and respected students at OFA.
“He’s student council president. He’s the man. Everybody knows him. But, I will say this, he’s extremely humble, and he’s extremely kind to everyone. I’ve never heard any kid in school say a bad word about him, which says a lot about his character,” he said
Christian told me he wants to play basketball in college, with hopes of, you guessed it, winning a championship wherever he goes.
As for now, Sage and the Indians hit the court again on Tuesday.
They’ll be at Vestal for a 7:15 pm tip-off.