KJ Cochran selected to 2023 GACA All-State Team

Published 2:56 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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On March 29 the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association selected Bainbridge High School senior basketball player KJ Cochran to the 2022-23 South AAAA All-State team after a season that saw Cochran help lead the Bearcats to a 26-3 overall record and a 9-0 record in Region play. Although Cochran hasn’t decided on a specific college to further his basketball career and education, it is evident that Cochran will soon be playing at the next level.

The 2022-23 season saw Cochran not only put up numbers on the offensive end, but on the defensive end as well, which is something that his dad and head coach Kelvin Cochran put an emphasis on every day. During the season, Cochran led the Bearcats as he averaged 13.1 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game on 40% shooting from the field. Defensively, Cochran led the Bearcats in blocks per game with 1.2 per game, totaling 31 blocks on the season. Cochran led the Bearcats in total points, total rebounds and total blocks for the 2022-23 season which is extremely rare to see one player lead a team in three different statistical categories.

Since becoming a starter on varsity in 2020, Cochran has seen his stats increase in each category every year, seeing his points per game go from 10.2 to 11.2 to 13.1 this season. For Cochran not only was the 2022-23 a memorable season based upon success, but it was his last season coached by his father, Kelvin. One of the most memorable nights of the season was on Friday, February 10 as KJ was honored on senior night with his mother and father by his side with the support of the Bainbridge community.

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“It’s going to be emotional,” said Cochran before the game. “When I was watching film last night, it hit me that this is really it and we’re nearing the end of this journey. It’s hard to put into words. It’s a proud moment but it’s also kind of sad at the same time. Watching him not only play basketball and coaching him but watching him grow up feels weird that high school is over but also makes us really proud that he’s made it this far.”

Cochran is eager to continue to play basketball at the next level while also earning his education, but is still patiently weighing his options before making his next move. Regardless of where Cochran ends up, the efforts and accomplishments during his time as a Bearcat will be remembered by many.