Senior guard Sean Hoehn has had a profound effect on the Morristown boys basketball team during the last three seasons, and it’s meant more to the program than just a winning record.
As a sophomore, Hoehn started on a team that had gone 7-18 the year before and averaged 11 points per game as Morristown finished 9-15. As a junior captain he led the team with 17 points per game as the Colonials advanced to the Morris County Tournament semifinals as the No. 3 seed. This season, as a senior captain he led the team and Morris County in scoring with 26 points per game, five rebounds, four assists and 3.4 steals per game.
He scored his 1,000th career point during a 58-45 victory over Chatham on Jan. 30 and helped lead Morristown to its first MCT final appearance since 2003, scoring 23 points as the Colonials fell to Mount Olive 75-73 in the final seconds. He finishes his career with 1,274 points, 595 of which he scored this year, 76 3-pointers and 140 made free throws, both of which were tops in the county, and scored 29 or more points nine times as Morristown finished 20-3, which was the best record since the 1920s.
Which is why Hoehn is the 2013-14 All Daily Record Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“He’s been a complete player that’s meant so much to our team over the past three years and his impact is hard to put into words,” Morristown coach Bill Connolly said. “He’s meant everything to our team, both on the court as player and off the court as a person. Everything about him has been contagious, his work ethic, his competitive drive and persona has been contagious and a huge reason for the success of our program and the level it’s achieved.”
Hoehn started playing basketball as a child and started to get more serious about the sport around the seventh grade when his father was the coach of his AAU team. He realized at 12 that a lot of the other players were better than him, which only made him want to work harder to get better.
“I think just the team and coach Connolly has helped me a ton,” Hoehn said. “Working out in the summer and the open gyms we’ve done and playing good competition in the AAU circuit and every other good kid I played against, all the competition I played against really helped.”
According to his coach and teammates, Hoehn never cared about the stats, all he wanted to do was win. This season, Morristown’s only loss to a Morris County team came in the MCT final against Mount Olive. The Colonials lost to Hunterdon Central 67-63 back on Jan. 11 (Hoehn scored 27 points) and then fell in the first round of the North 2 Group III Tournament to Irvington, despite Hoehn scoring a season-high 37 points.
“I love playing with Sean, he’s unselfish, he’s the best player I’ve ever played with,” senior forward Nick Duff said. “He doesn’t care about scoring, he only cares about winning, we came up a little short this year but that’s all he cares about. He’s really worked on being a good defender, so he really helped us with defense this year. He led us in scoring, when team’s focused on him it didn’t matter if he scored zero points if we won. He’s a distributor, he’s a great leader, and coach will miss him next year.”
Hoehn’s work ethic has rubbed off on his teammates, and it showed this season as the Colonials had one of the most successful seasons in program history. He said he only wanted everyone on the team to work hard, and he hopes to leave a legacy on the team that every player that comes after him will want to strive for.
Hoehn will forgo college for a year and instead attend St. Thomas More school in order to improve both on the court and in the classroom. But no matter what he does in the future, Connolly hopes that his star player will return as much as possible to visit the team, and his younger brother Kevin, and help the Colonials get even better, even if he can’t be on the court with them.
“You can look at success and record in the last few years, seasons but it really goes so much further than wins and losses,” Connolly said. “His impact on the other players and his teammates, his coaches, our town and community and all the younger players, he’s just a huge reason for our success.”