No Quit In Koufos

After a tough loss, many basketball players might decide to just go home and relax. But not Kosta Koufos. After a recent loss in a tournament in West Virginia, Koufos took out his frustration by working out for four-and-a-half hours. What drives him to do that? Kyle Lamb talked with Koufos about his practice ethic and much more.

So you head to West Virginia for a basketball tournament, the Harley Jamfest, and your team loses unexpectedly in the first round of the bracket.

What do you do?

You come back and play more basketball, of course.

That's the answer for 7-1 workaholic Kosta Koufos, the No. 13-ranked player in 2007 by from Canton GlenOak.

After the King James Shooting Stars lost in the first round of last weekend's tournament in Morgantown, a frustrated Koufos took his high school coach's keys and punished himself by working out for four and a half hours on Sunday night.

"I'm so frustrated right now," Koufos said Sunday evening upon returning from his workout. "I'm just very…very frustrated."

But the extra time in the gymnasium is nothing new for Koufos. It's become a part of his regular routine if not by injury rehabilitation, than by choice.

Koufos works out every night in the gym for a couple of hours at his high school when he's not at an AAU practice or at a tournament.

He has a couple of personal trainers that he often works out with, and he also sometimes goes to workouts with nearby Walsh College, a successful NAIA program. Those workouts include parachutes, water training and many other muscle-building exercises.

"I try to make a living in the gym," he says. "There's always something I can be working on."

But then there are simply those moments like this past Sunday, where Koufos goes to the gym to get his mind off something.

"It was a team we should have probably beaten," he added. "But I don't know, I guess I just went to practice for four and a half hours to take my frustrations out."

Although it's the time spent in the gym that has made Koufos the player he is today, it's the time spent at tournaments and most recently, the Nike Camp that adds to his lofty ranking.

At Nike Camp in Indianapolis a nearly two weeks ago, Koufos was stellar for nearly the entire length of the camp, which lasted four days.

"It was a blessing," he said of being at the camp. "Every game I tried to bring something positive. If it wasn't scoring, I was trying to play solid defense. If it wasn't defense, it was rebounding I tried bringing some other aspect."

The camp brought together he and his AAU teammate Delvon Roe.

Roe, a talented 2008 prospect from Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward is in the middle of an explosion from his recruitment. There's a possibility that Roe may choose a college in the near future.

As Koufos doesn't deny he hopes Roe chooses to be his future teammate, he may get a few more opportunities to be a current teammate before the summer is over with.

The two will be in Las Vegas from July 22-26 for the Nike Main Event Tournament with the King James Shooting Stars, and after that, it's possible they may again play together – this time with another future Buckeye.

"I'm probably going to play with Jon Diebler and All-Ohio at the Nationals," Koufos said.

All-Ohio will also have former Toledo Libbey product Nate Miles playing with Diebler at the Super Showcase in Orlando beginning next week. Koufos will join them for the Nationals immediately after, after he gets done in Las Vegas.

It also looks like Roe will be joining them.

"It's up to him," Koufos added. "But we would like to do it."

Since then, Roe has been confirmed as planning to play with All-Ohio.

It's another opportunity though for Koufos to do what he does best (after playing basketball) – working on basketball.

"I'm just trying to get as much polish as I can heading into next season," he adds.

He'll get plenty more opportunities.

GlenOak has a schedule this upcoming season that includes Cincinnati Hughes, Massillon Perry, Dayton Dunbar and Solon.

The Solon game may have added significance than just the match-up of Koufos and Dallas Lauderdale.

ESPN may carry it.

"There's been some word they will have the Solon game with Dallas Lauderdale and I. I'm looking forward to that," Koufos said, "but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

It's just another appearance Koufos will put overtime in the gym for in anticipation of.

In other words – more basketball.

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