SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- South Salem resident and Forman student Joshua “JT” Papa's career as a student-athlete turned a lot sweeter when he reached his 1,000th point in a home Varsity basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 25, against Christian Heritage School. In fact, he’s up to 1,002.
The last person to achieve this was Jay Zanois in 1989 in his final year at Forman, and he ended his season with a record 1,017 points. With a number of games still to come this season, Director of Athletics Scott McCarty believes Papa will surpass this number.
“It's been a privilege watching JT play basketball for his four years. He's a great young man and a very good basketball player,” he said.
Last year, Papa was selected for the Housatonic Valley Athletic League First Team and the First Team All-New England. He was also named as a Forman Athlete of the Week. He ended the season with an average 25.4 points, four steals, and five rebounds per game.
“JT's thousandth point was a hard-earned and well-deserved accomplishment. This milestone is a testament to his consistent hard work and dedication," said Head Coach John Strawson. "It is even more impressive when you consider that he is the consummate team player. Forman basketball is incredibly proud of JT.”
Papa was honored and humbled to mark the accomplishment with cheers from the audience, hugs from his family and friends, and a commemorative tee shirt, which his father also donned.
“It's truly a blessing to score my 1,000th point here at Forman. Playing for Coach Strawson for four years has been amazing; I couldn't have asked for a better coach,” he said. “I would like to thank Mr. Man for accepting me into Forman freshman year and letting me have the opportunity to achieve this goal in my basketball career."
Papa also thanked his coaches: Coach Strawson, Coach Crossman, and Coach Kelsey, and his father, grandpa, and grandma for always coming to his games and supporting him.
"Finally, I would like to thank my girlfriend for always practicing with me in the gym and keeping me focused for every practice and game," Papa added.