Jolaoso, a junior point guard, played a vital role in the Churchmen winning the recent EA Christmas Tournament, hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer in the semifinals to beat Del-Val Charter, 43-41, then guided EA past Church Farm School, 49-44, in the championship final. He scored a career-high 31 points against Peddie School in the recent Hill School Tournament and made the all-tourney team. Last winter, he received second team All-Main Line boys' basketball honors.
Main Line Media News: Tell us about your buzzer-beating three-pointer that beat Del-Val Charter in the EA Christmas Tournament semifinals. How did the play unfold? What was your last thought before letting go of the shot?
Mike Jolaoso: Coach [Craig] Conlin called a play that we've worked on in practice for late game situations like that. He also emphasizes "time and score.' Once I caught the ball, I took a dribble, two defenders came towards me and I knew I had to let it go. The shot looked and felt good in flight to the basket. Time expired, it went in and everyone went crazy.
Main Line Media News: As a junior point guard, describe how you see your leadership role on the EA boys' basketball squad.
Mike Jolaoso: As a junior, and with the varsity experience that I have from my past 2 years, the coaches have looked to me to be even more vocal as I am no longer an underclassman. Being a point guard you always hear that you have to be a coach on the floor. I take pride in that, communicating to my teammates and changing or correcting things as I see them.
Main Line Media News: You played a big role in your team's 49-44 win against Church Farm School to capture the EA Christmas Tournament. As a point guard, can you give us an example of your on-court decision-making in this game - how the play unfolded, and what went into making your decision?
Mike Jolaoso: The play that really stands out to me from that game happened right before halftime. With a play that we normally run, I was able to get into the lane, draw several defenders and find my teammate Connor Martin wide open spotting up on the wing. I have great trust in my teammates to hit the open shot after I penetrate, so instead of forcing the situation, I found Connor and he hit a 3 at the buzzer, giving us the lead going into the intermission.
Main Line Media News: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? Is there a player whose game you try to pattern yours after?
Mike Jolaoso: I would say the strongest part of my game would be my vision and ability to get anywhere that I want on the court. I've always been a fan of Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, and I try to take parts from their style of play and incorporate it in mine.
Main Line Media News: What aspect of your game are you working the most on currently?
Mike Jolaoso: I'm currently working on my jump shot day in and day out and being consistent with it.
Main Line Media News: What (to you) has been the highlight of your basketball career outside of Episcopal Academy? Can you share with us your most vivid memory of that highlight?
Mike Jolaoso: The highlight of my basketball career would be winning a championship a couple years ago with an AAU team I played with for a couple years out of Newark, N.J. called F.A.C.E.S. The game was so special because it was played inside the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. It was an overwhelming experience playing and winning, because above the court is a dome where the pictures of everyone who has ever been inducted into the Hall of Fame are sort of looking down on you as you play.
Main Line Media News: What colleges are among your current favorites? What do you think you'd like to major in? Is there a career path that particularly interests you?
Mike Jolaoso: I've always had Villanova and Syracuse as my favorite colleges. I'd like to major in architectural engineering and marketing. I'd like to continue my basketball career in a way as a player or coach.
Main Line Media News: Do you participate in any extracurricular activities at Episcopal Academy outside of basketball? What sparked your interest in these activities?
Mike Jolaoso: I take part in blog writing at Episcopal for a course in the newly installed J-term program where I have the chance to interview or create my own story about a topic that will interest an audience.
Mike Jolaoso's favoritesBook: Malcolm X
Pre-game pump-up song: You Don't Know, by Jay Z.
Athlete: "Dwayne Wade, he's been my favorite since I was a child. I always loved the passion he played with and how he handles himself on and off the court.'
Movie: He Got Game.
Historical figure (past and/or present): "Malcolm X. Love everything he stood for and by watching the movie made on him starring Denzel Washington, it changed how I viewed life and myself as a person.'
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys' Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)