By Nicole Minier
WOODBURN — With Churubusco’s basketball teams never winning a sectional title, none of the players ever experienced cutting down the net after a championship game.
None except Jalen Paul, that is.
Two years ago, Paul took away the sectional title from the Eagles, leading Canterbury to victory over a promising Churubusco team that had a 22-4 season.
That was the team that many expected to win the school’s first sectional title.
Let’s just say, Paul wasn’t well-liked. He was the Eagles’ enemy No. 1.
Two years ago, many of the same Churubusco fans sat in the same gym and probably scowled at Paul.
“Two years ago I was in this same gym wearing blue,” Paul said. “I never thought I would be with Churubusco, but I do believe everything happens for a reason.”
After Paul’s father, Chris, was hired as the school’s head coach, Jalen decided to go with his dad to ’Busco, where he’s led the team in scoring, assists and steals, even breaking the school’s single-game assist record with 18.
“It’s funny how God works,” coach Paul said. “I was sitting in the stands when Jalen beat Churubusco for the sectional championship last time.”
Jalen Paul went on to win the next sectional championship, helping the Cavaliers to a semistate bid his junior year. He got to cut down the nets for the the fourth time Saturday — and he’s not planning on being done yet, as he eyes a state title to end his high school career.