Raymond’s Kason Koski signs to play basketball, track at PLU

A team trip to Pacific Lutheran University last year was a good bonding moment for the Raymond football team, but also the start of Kason Koski’s journey after high school.

Starting with a trip to PLU and ending with a stroke of a pen, Koski will make the trek to the Tacoma area this fall to begin classes at the Division III private school and prepare for the upcoming men’s basketball and track &field seasons.

Koski, surrounded by his family and coaches, signed a letter of intent with the Lutes recently and is excited to get going.

“It was like a big family,” Koski said. “I played open gym with the (current men’s team) and they were very welcoming. They introduced themselves and welcomed me there. Even during the team trip, students would welcome us there. That is just how the school is.”

Koski graduated on Saturday as the Class of 2017 Salutatorian with a 3.928 GPA and will be going to PLU with a bushel of academic scholarships. The main draw to PLU for him was academics. He is currently undecided in his major, but is drawn to the business program to start.

“Academics are more important, because I’ll have to stop playing basketball at some point; academics really drew me in,” he said. “(With the team trip), I got to hear about the football program and the school and I was very interested. After that, I contacted the track coach, but I knew I wanted to play basketball. So, the track coach (Adam Frye) put me in touch with the basketball coach and we went from there.”

An ankle injury sustained during his senior basketball season kept Koski from competing in track this past spring. A doctor’s visit after the basketbal season revealed a severe ankle sprain, bone bruise and two partially torn ligaments. Koski noted that time and physical therapy were needed to heal and he didn’t need surgery.

As a junior, Koski finished third overall at the 2016 state 2B track &field meet in the high jump at 6-foot-1. His career best is 6-2 and he’ll compete in vertical jumps at PLU.

On the court, Koski made his mark as the ninth Raymond boys basketball player to score 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,086 career points as a four-year varsity player. In his senior year, he scored 432 points, averaged just over 18 points per game and was selected as a first-team all-Pacific 2B League guard.

With the Lutes, Koski noted he’ll be a guard and will be joined by fellow freshman Jack Adams III, of Hoquiam, on the squad. Koski applied to Western Washington University and the University of Puget Sound as well, but his interest stayed with the Lutes.

“Right now, I’m on a weight program and starting the first-year athlete program set up for incoming freshmen,” Koski added. “This is a great opportunity for me.”

Koski finished by thanking his coaches — “They really put the mindset in that if you work hard, you will get the results” — and his parents for everything they’ve done.