COLLEGEVILLE — Joey Stock worked hard over the summer to improve.
“Really, really, really, really hard,” Stock said.
Already a top scorer for the St. John’s Prep boys basketball team, the 6-foot-4 senior guard wanted to hone his game and develop his shooting skills even more after averaging 14.3 points per game his junior year.
“Last year, when I got to have more of a scoring role, I realized I wanted to play college basketball,” Stock said.
His hard work has produced results. Stock is coming off a three-game stretch where he has averaged 28.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Johnnies, who are 3-2 heading into a game Tuesday night against seventh-ranked Browerville/Eagle Valley.
For that, he has been named the Times Athlete of the Week.
“He’s a very streaky shooter,” St. John’s Prep head coach Phil Johnson said. “He’s put a lot of time in during the summer and his shooting has improved.
“As a senior, he gets a bunch of looks in our offense and he has the confidence to do it.”
He had a career-best 32 points with six rebounds in a 66-50 win over Swanville on Nov. 30. Stock then followed that up with 30 points and six rebounds in a 76-65 victory Dec. 1 at Kimball.
The Johnnies then suffered their first Prairie Conference loss Dec. 3, falling 75-58 to West Central Area in Barrett. Stock went for 24 points and seven rebounds.
The output, as well as the summer work, has Stock focused on playing college basketball. He said he will do so at St. John’s University, where his father Tom Stock is the Johnnies’ athletic director.
“Playing for (Johnnies head coach) Pat McKenzie would be a dream for me,” Joey Stock said. “I remember him playing in the early 2000s.
“He was a stud.”
Johnson, a middle school science teacher in Monticello, is a former St. John’s basketball player. A St. Cloud Tech graduate, he was MVP of the MIAC his senior year. He was an assistant in the St. John’s Prep program, coaching his oldest son Levi, until last year. He took over for activities director Bryan Backes, who coaches the girls basketball team.
Johnson believes Stock has the potential to play college basketball.
“If he (Stock) decides to play at the next level, I think he could offensively,” Johnson said. “Defensively, he has some work to do.
“He’s also a really good baseball player and could do that at the next level, too.”
Stock, who also plays soccer, is still thinking about playing college baseball. He puts a lot of time into that sport, too. He plays all summer, either for the St. Joseph American Legion team or the St. Joseph Joes amateur baseball team.
Between workouts for basketball and playing in the St. Cloud State summer league and playing baseball, his summer was full.
But that’s OK. He loves sports. It would be hard not to like them. He has gone to numerous athletic events that his dad supervises.
“He’s basically grown up here,” Johnson said of St. John’s. “It’s his backyard.”
He has attended St. John’s Prep since sixth grade.
“It has been a part of my life forever,” Stock said.
At St. John’s, he said he would like to be a global business major. For the time being, however, he’s hoping to have as good a season as possible at St. John’s Prep.
The Johnnies have a nice inside-out game with Gabe Johnson, a 6-6 senior post and the coach’s son, supplying the inside part of the equation. Stock is the outside guy.
Those two play with three sophomores who have been big contributors so far: point guard John Martone, 6-4 forward Nick Foss and 6-4 forward Andy Moen.
“We’re scoring as I thought we would,” Johnson said. “But we’re not stopping people the way we need to in order to win.”
That’s the next goal. Stock has taken note.
“(Johnson) is probably the best coach I’ve had,” Stock said. “He’s just a good guy.
“I remember when he became the coach last year at our first practice, he asked us to write down on a slip of paper our goals as an individual and a team,” Stock said. “And he told us to write down what we needed to work on, our strengths and weaknesses.
“He told us we need to do our jobs, nothing more, nothing less. If we do our jobs, we can feel good about ourselves. He’s also given me a lot of confidence, helped me to have confidence in myself.”
Follow Tom Elliott on Twitter @sctimestom or call 259-3661.