WINCHESTER, Ind. – When play was stopped, Kiante Enis didn’t realize it was for him.
The Winchester junior was as surprised as anyone when he saw athletic director Mike Jones brandishing a basketball to celebrate the milestone of 1,000 career points.
Enis passed that plateau during a 51-24 victory over Monroe Central earlier this month. Problem was, Enis had no idea he was that close.
“I didn’t know what they were doing,” Enis said. “I was looking around. I was confused. I saw our athletic director, Mike Jones, standing with the 1,000 point ball. I kind of figured it out.”
Opponents have figured out what a special player Enis is — in more than one sport.
He has Division I offers in both football and basketball, with the most recent coming from Miami University and Western Michigan for his gridiron exploits.
Enis also has offers from Indiana University (football) and IPFW (basketball).
“Everybody that’s been to watch us play, football or basketball, knows that Kiante is a special kid, athletically,” said Jones, who is also the Falcons’ head football coach. “We felt really blessed it (1,000 points) got to happen at home. He got to do it in front of his fans, family. It was a big deal. Super cool.”
Enis, the Tri-Eastern Conference’s Player of the Year in basketball as a sophomore, scored 22 points in his next game, a 72-49 win over TEC foe Lincoln.
Enis repeatedly connected on his jump shot in the victory.
“When he’s hitting that pull-up jump shot, he’s pretty tough to stop,” said Winchester basketball coach Matt Fine. “If you have to honor that, he can get to the rim.
“He was really patient (against Lincoln). He distributed the ball well.”
Enis now has 1,028 points for his career and is averaging more than 20 per game for the 12-7 Falcons.
“He’s had a great career and he’s going to continue to build on that,” Fine said. “He had a great start to the season, and had a couple of up and down games there in the middle. He’s starting to get focused here toward the end, and our team is.”
Enis’ junior year included making a run at Indiana’s single-season rushing record in the fall.
The 6-foot-3 running back finished with 3,189 yards, the fourth highest single-season effort.
Jones praised Enis for his work ethic, both on the football field and the basketball court.
“He’s obviously a very talented young man, but talent only takes you so far,” Jones said. “You don’t rush for 3,000 yards in a season or score 1,000 points in your career unless you’re working at it. I think that’s one of the biggest things folks sometimes have a tendency to not give him enough credit for. In football, he’s as hard a worker as we’ve had, and I would suspect you’d hear similar things from coach Fine.
“Sometimes you’re lucky and you get kids like that.”
Winchester has three regular-season basketball games remaining, two at home.
The first comes Tuesday vs. Class 3A Rushville. The Falcons then travel to TEC leader Northeastern on Friday before returning to Winchester Fieldhouse on Feb. 24 opposite South Adams.
“It’s a great week next week for us, regardless of the outcome of the games,” Fine said. “We want to play teams like Rushville. We want to play teams like Northeastern. We feel like those are two of the tougher teams on our schedule, and that’s right before the tournament. We need to come out and compete.
“It’s just a great week if you’re a competitor, to come out and have an opportunity to play against two really good teams.”
Winchester is 3-3 in the TEC. The Falcons, who have won back-to-back games and three of their last four, took the Knights to double-overtime a year ago at the fieldhouse.
Winchester started the season 5-0 and worked its way into the Class 2A top 10 rankings.
“Everybody is starting to play together,” Enis said. “The chemistry is starting to come back from what we had at the beginning of the year.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI