Soph takes a big leap
It didn’t take too much effort to get Crosby head boys basketball coach Edwin Egans fired up and talking about sophomore center Sean Elkinton.
Egans waxed poetic about his eye-opening young post player who went from non-descript member of a freshmen team to stalwart for a resurgent basketball program.
Elkinton played big minutes starting for the Cougars, who advanced to the Region 3 quarterfinals last winter to finish 26-11 overall as the champions of District 22-5A.
He also put up huge numbers averaging 10.3 ppg and 10.7 rpg while recording Dennis Rodman-like games of 21,19, 18 and 15 rebounds.
Oh, he’s also got a lot of room to improve.
So, with all that, it’s pretty evident why Elkinton has been named the 2019-20 Baytown Sun’s No. 3 player in the Top Newcomer of the Year rankings.
The 6-foot-7 ballplayer – in shoes – grew a couple inches since his prep start and has designs to get up to just around 200 pounds in short time.
“I want to focus on making myself be more of a post presence,” Elkinton said. “In practice, I would dominate in the post and some good post moves in the game. This next year, I hope to be a force on the block. I’m trying to get more solid up top and in my core. I just want to be the guy who gets the ball in the post and goes to work.”
His coach knows that work is what made Elkinton one of the big hoops up-and-comers.
“Sean is a great kid and student that possess an A-plus academic average,” Egans said. “He is a blue-collar, team-first player with a tremendous work ethic.”
That might explain how he went from averaging less than nine points and four rebounds in freshman ball to going the double-double machine route for the best team in a good district with a brutal non-district schedule.
“After committing to open gym, individual improvement, and our spring and summer strength and conditioning program, Sean has developed into a player that has gained the attention of Division I and Division II colleges,” Egans said.
After his freshman year, Elkinton wasn’t sure if he’d even play AAU because of financial questions, but he locked on with the Houston Rockstars.
“From there, everything skyrocketed: I was handling the ball, playing in the post, everything,” Elkinton said. “I averaged about 20-25 points a game. There were some games, tournaments where I had 35 points. I then started getting opportunities where I was getting hooked up with scouts and I went to camps. That’s where it all started.”
Elkinton’s sophomore averages combined with shooting 40% from the three-point line earned him district 1st-team honors. It also catapulted him into the Class of 2022’s No. 86 ranked overall player in the state by Prep Hoops/Rivals, according to Egans.
Through exposure camps the “rankings followed,” as he now ranked No. 16 in the Houston area for his class.
“There were eyes at all tournaments,” Elkinton said. “Last high school year, I kind of blossomed. I didn’t really have a bad game. If I didn’t have points one game, I would get 10-15 rebounds, make blocks and hustle plays.”
During COVID-19 he has been working hard despite the stay-at-home and social distancing expectations doing what he can to get stronger and develop his skills. He admits he knew where he was on the basketball food chain after this freshman year and went to work. He knows he’s higher up now and will not settle.
The recruiters have come calling with some NCAA Division I coaches started to poke around while
plenty of Division II’s are hoping for a chance to bring him in during the fall of 2022, according to Egans.
“Freshman year, after every open gym session, I would take an hour or two in my backcourt and work on my shooting, doing box jumps,” Elkinton said. “I felt freshman season it hit me I could be something, so I put my mind to it.”