Basketball

High school boys basketball: After losing 45 pounds, Crystal Lake Central's Timmerman shows his athleticism

Alex Timmerman corralled a rebound on the defensive end and snapped an outlet pass to a waiting teammate. Seconds later, Central guard Colton Haviland missed a mid-range jump shot at the other end, and there was Timmerman under the basket rising up for the offensive rebound.

Timmerman snagged the missed shot and scored for an easy two points in a win over Genoa-Kingston last week. The Central big man’s hustle up the court showed how much he worked on his body and his overall athleticism during the offseason.

Timmerman helped the Tigers to a tournament title at Marengo’s E.C. Nichols Holiday Classic last week and to a 9-4 start to the season. He is averaging 17.1 points a game, 9.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

“Over the years, a lot of people were saying, ‘You have the talent, you’ve just got to get your body in shape,’” Timmerman said. “That’s going to determine where you end up playing (in college). I thought it was time to focus on it.”

The 6-foot-9 junior lost 45 pounds over the offseason, slimming down to 245 pounds. Timmerman worked out at TNT in McHenry with owner and head strength coach Steve Drain.

There wasn’t much cardio involved, outside of the running Timmerman did on the basketball court. He said it was more of a focus on weightlifting and eating right.

“I was eating bad food,” Timmerman said. “[Drain] taught me what to eat, when to eat and helped me lift. I lifted a lot, and I ran in basketball.”

Timmerman plays AAU ball for Fundamental U during the high school offseason.

Central coach Rich Czeslawski said Timmerman made his biggest strides between the end of the summer and the beginning of the high school season in November.

The change in physique has made a difference in transition – like the play against Genoa-Kingston illustrated – but it also has changed how teams try to attack Timmerman in their half-court offense.

“Teams can’t just take him outside and take him off the dribble anymore,” Czeslawski said. “He’s much quicker when he catches the ball. His footwork has always been good, but now he’s faster. Additionally, on rebounds, his second jump is quicker. There’s a lot of benefits to it. He’s just a healthier kid, and it’s really starting to show.”

Czeslawski sat down with Timmerman at the end of last season and laid out what he wanted to see from Timmerman. The big man has met all of those goals – eating right, working out, dedicating himself to the game.

A more athletic Timmerman will be a force in the Fox Valley Conference, where the Tigers are 2-1 in conference play, especially now that former Jacobs big man Cameron Krutwig is no longer dominating the conference in the paint.

“I’m moving down the court better now, which is helpful,” Timmerman said. “I’m definitely jumping higher, moving quicker.”

Czeslawski believes Timmerman will play in college. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.

“A player like him, he’s got all the tools that you want, and it’s just a matter of what level he can play at and what school he can play at that fits,” Czeslawski said. “He’s a very unique player for high school.”

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