Christ the King’s Severe filling Calhoun’s shoes

Christ the King’s Severe filling Calhoun’s shoes
Christ the King’s Jon Severe (front) flies through the air. Christ the King Regional High School played against Burke Catholic during a game at Christ the King in Queens on Friday, February 17, 2012.
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Zach Braziller

Jon Severe hears it all the time. Everyone, from friends to classmates and even opponents, ask him how it feels to be the one who will be taking the bulk of shots next year for Christ the King.

Severe stops them.

“It’s not going to be anything new,” he tells them. “I’m not that type of player. I’m going to play team basketball.”

The graduation of UConn recruit Omar Calhoun and the likely transfer of rising senior Isaiah Lewis has — and ultimately will — shine a light on Severe, the highly recruited 6-foot-2 shooting guard. He does see an opportunity to emerge as the Royals’ leader, along with fellow soon-to-be seniors Jordan Fuchs and Malik Harmon, but Severe doesn’t expect his role to suddenly change.

He’s not going to start jacking up 20 shots per game. During last winter’s frustrating season, when every win was followed by a surprising loss and CK was upset by Mount St. Michael in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional quarterfinals, Severe took mental notes of what was missing.

“Last season nobody communicated,” he said. “We didn’t have any leaders. Everybody was basically doing themselves.”

Severe is quick to note that’s not a knock on Calhoun, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Calhoun, Severe said, was quiet by nature. Severe isn’t exactly chatty himself, but he plans to change.

“I know what to do to win and I how to talk to my teammates, not bringing them down, making them better,” Severe said.

As soon as the AAU season ends Sunday night, Severe said he will be at Christ the King every day working out, and will reach out to his teammates to join him.

Christ the King Coach Joe Arbitello doesn’t think he will have one player next year people will look to, but a group of them, six or seven guys who will play for each other. Being that Severe is the highest recruited player back and is coming off a big high school and AAU season, he will be looked to even more.

“Guys respect that fact he was never one of those guys that tried to proclaim he was better than someone else on the team, he’s always been quiet and gone about his business the right way,” Arbitello said. “Being a leader in that respect, I do think so. When the younger players look up to someone, they look at Jon. His game speaks for itself. He doesn’t need to do anything to make himself look like a better player.”

Severe has enjoyed a big AAU summer with the New York Lightning, getting the chance to play on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit and leading the Lightning to the finals of the Nike Invitational in Augusta, Ga., recently.

His recruitment is on the rise, with offers from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, George Washington, Seton Hall, Rhode Island and South Carolina, among others. Severe plans to cut down his list in August, begin to take visits and commit sometime in the fall or early in the winter.

He’s more focused on his final year at Christ the King, getting the program back to where he feels it belongs. That has nothing to do with taking more shots, Severe said, it’s about leadership and accountability — qualities he is ready to take on.

“It’s my senior year, I want to win,” he said. “I don’t want to lose in the playoffs.”

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