GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) Standing 6'5" and weighing over 240 pounds, Them Koang is not hard to miss in a crowd. If you don't see him first, you'll no doubt hear him. Whether it's slamming dunks or sweeping floors, the senior brings a passion and humor to everything he does.
"I like to stay joyful and I'm a funny goofy dude, but when it comes to grind time, I get locked down and I get serious," Koang said. "During practice, I like to keep things fun and make it seem like we're not forced to do this, that we're here to have fun. So, I just bring joy to everything."
Koang has played three years of varsity ball, with Jeremiah Slough the head coach in all three. When asked what word comes to mind first when thinking about Koang, coach Slough did not take long to answer.
"Passionate, everything he does is just passionate," Slough said. "It gives me goosebumps just talking about it because I've been able to see a kid that came to us as just a freshman. He's a really big body but he's just a little kid in a big body. To see that progression across four years, and to see the passion he brings to us and the determination to our program has just been nothing short of amazing. As we've tried to build the culture here, he's been an intregal part of that."
Koang is playing in his last season at Grand Island Senior High. With only a few months left as an Islander, the big man isn't shy when saying how much the school has meant to him.
"This school has meant a whole bunch to me. I wouldn't go to a different school even if they paid me," Koang said. "I mean they've meant so much to me, I have so much family here and they've just made it a whole new home for me. They welcomed me with open arms and there's nothing I can say but thank you to Grand Island Senior High."
With districts on the horizon, Koang and the Islanders are focused on one thing, giving Grand Island it's first state tournament berth in 10 years.