Sharp Shootin’

Joel Hammond and Joel Hammond

There was something missing in the fall of 2000 when John Reimold left three Pennsylvania state championships behind at Kennedy Catholic High School and enrolled at Loyola of Maryland in Baltimore.

Mainly, the missing piece was everything he loved about the game of basketball.

He’s found the intensity, grit and hard work he was used to in high school again, and luckily for the Bowling Green basketball team, he’s found it here.

Reimold, a sophomore from Greenville, Pa., has been the glue that has held the Falcon squad together through a somewhat tumultuous season, leading the team in scoring in conference play at 17.8 points per game and averaging 16.1 overall.

“John played on some state championship teams in high school,” BG Coach Dan Dakich said, “and he left Loyola because he didn’t feel like he was being pushed there. Normally, when a guy like transfers like John or [Brandon] Pardon did, and he wants something that he deems ‘better,’ you generally have a player, and that’s what John is.”

Reimold was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s freshman of the year in 2000-2001, was the fifth-leading scorer in the conference (15.6 points per game) and was second in the league in three-point field goal percentage.

But there was something missing. What Dakich called not being pushed was essentially a laid-back mentality to the basketball program at Loyola, something Reimold wasn’t used to and didn’t like.

“I was used to winning a lot in high school, and I went to Loyola, and there was a much more relaxed approach taken by the coach,” Reimold said. “That was great at first, but the relaxed approach by the coach turned into an easygoing mentality. That mentality didn’t work out when we went 6-22 that year.”

So Reimold sent his release to Bowling Green and Dakich, who had originally recruited him out of high school. The adaptation has been a short one for Reimold, because his high school coach, Joe Votino, ran a similar program, only on a smaller scale.

“This is the kind of system I had in high school, but it’s a different level now,” he said. “Coach is really intense, and he gets the absolute best out of his players. It’s one of those things that you have to pay attention to what he is saying, not how he’s saying it. And obviously, it worked.

“The crowd that coach showed me on tape was a huge factor, as well,” Reimold said. “That was big where I used to play, and seeing how much the students got into the game here was a big selling point.”


Now, Reimold has quietly established himself as not only the most consistent player here, but is making a run for postseason conference honors after just 18 games in a Falcon uniform. In addition to his scoring output, he also leads the team in rebounding, at 4.9 overall and 5.2 in conference, and minutes, at over 36 minutes per game in conference. He’s led the team in scoring in nine of their 18 games.

He’s had help along the way, too.

His family has been with him through his entire journey, from Kennedy to Loyola to Bowling Green. His father played basketball in high school, and went on to Lafayette to play football and run track. His two younger brothers have followed his footsteps in basketball, and one brother, Nolan, is a freshman at the University and playing for Danny Schmitz’s baseball team.

His other brother, Shamus, and sister Dierdre also play basketball.

“Both my mom and my dad were instrumental in helping me look for a place to go to school,” Reimold said. “They supported me in my decision, and really they taught me how to play basketball. That’s a big goal, to make my parents proud of me.”

Reimold’s dad, John Sr., said he knew his son wasn’t happy when he went to Loyola.

“The main reason he transferred was he didn’t like the atmosphere at Loyola,” the elder Reimold said. “In other words, the fans didn’t support the team, there was very low attendance, the students didn’t care about the team and there wasn’t a lot of support from the team. It wasn’t the atmosphere he was used to.

“The thing he liked and we liked about Dakich was that he makes you work,” he continued. “He wants to win, and he’ll work to achieve that. He expects the same from his players. He demands a lot from his players, and is always intense. His teams will always be successful, because he leads his teams with his intensity.”


Dakich said before the season that what impressed him most about Reimold was his knack for being able to get the ball in the hoop and his ability to rebound well for his size, factors which have been evidenced by his stellar numbers so far .

To become a complete player for Dakich, though, Reimold needed to be sold on everything about the program.

“John has done a great job of buying into what we’re doing,” Dakich said. “Last year, whenever John would miss a shot, he’d get mad, but he didn’t get mad when his guy scored, or when he threw the ball away. I remember telling him that he would be a player once he got mad at those things. Then, before the Cleveland State game, I saw that he had really bought into everything, and I told the team that as soon as everyone buys into the program like John has, we would be a good team.”

Reimold’s dad says that John’s best quality is his intelligence and knowledge of the game.

“I coached him in seventh and eighth grade, and I’ve watched him progress over the years,” John Sr. said, “and his smart play amazes me. He doesn’t hurt you on the court, and pays unselfishly, and if you get five guys like that, you’re going to have a pretty good team.”