‘It takes everyone to win a game’: West Point’s Kanaan Sutter ready for senior seasons

West Point’s Kanaan Sutter. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. — West Point’s varsity basketball team finished 10-19 in its first season under head coach Mason Voce. Returning senior guard Kanaan Sutter talked about the experience gained from last season and what he wants to carry into his senior year.

“I feel like last season went pretty well at times. We were very streaky. We were a team of runs, and the biggest thing I took away from last season is that defense wins games and you can’t let up. You have to play basketball like coach Morgan teaches baseball: ‘All gas, no breaks.”

West Point will return a lot of players from last season, along with some JV players, and Kanaan feels like that will really help out this team this upcoming season.

“Having a lot of players back from last season will help us a lot with our offense and our defense. Having this experience back, we will know what we have to do to win. We learned a lot of valuable lessons last year in the games that we won and lost.”

Kanaan has played for some great coaches during his time at West Point and he has tried to learn as much as he can much from them so far.

“I have learned that hard work and determination is a key to success, but I have also learned that having a great walk with God is the most important thing that you can have. Our coaches are the best out there. They push us to be better players, but also better people. They are the nose on the gridiron-type men. They are amazing and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.” he said. “Coach Voce is a great man. He loves the game of basketball and loves his players more. He gives us his time so we can be better. He loves to joke around, but when it comes time to get better, he’s serious.”

Kanaan learned so much from the upperclassmen before him and that has helped him become a leader to the younger players.

“I learned a lot from the guys before me. They have got me to be the defensively player that I am today. They have taught me to put in the work when no one is watching, to always play with heart, and to never take anything for granted. They all had a big role in molding our younger guys, from helping them finish at the rim strong and to being the first one on the ground for a loose ball,” he said. “I’ve taught the younger guys that defense wins games, but offense gets all the glory, to play defense like your hair’s on fire, and to not stop. I’ve also taught them the importance of getting in the weight room and getting stronger.”

Kanaan has worked on some things during the summer and talks about the goals for this upcoming season. He talks about what will make this team special to watch this year.

“I’ve been working on finishing at the rim and my mid-range shots,” he said. “My individual goal is to leave an impact on the guy below me. Our team goal is to be playing at Wallace at the end of the season. What will make this team special to watch this season is that we are going to be playing quick and we are also going to be electric on the court.”

The baseball team had a really good year last season as they finished 18-17 and added yet another trip to the postseason. Kanaan talked about last season and took away so much from that year.

“I feel as if we had a great season. We had many great games that we won and also lost,” he said. “I learned that it takes everyone to win a game; it can’t just be one guy. I also learned how tough it is to get put out early in the playoffs and I don’t want it to happen this year.”

West Point have a lot of players coming back from last year and Kanaan and the rest of his team will look to make a deep playoff run this season.

“With us being mostly juniors and seniors, we were a part of the past two teams to be put out in the first round, so we have a bad taste of what it feels like to be sent home early and we don’t want that this year.”

Kanaan has played for some amazing coaches during his time at West Point and has soaked up so much from them so far.

“Coach Drew Bryson and the rest of our coaching staff is like no other. They push us to our limits and past that to be better players. Coach Bryson is a baseball-loving man, but loves his family even more,” he said. “We have learned tons of things to help us become five-tool players. I’ve learned that it takes a team to win, you have to bring a lot of energy to the field, and to be an absolute dog on and off the field.”

Kanaan has taken away some things from the upperclassmen before him and that has helped him become a great leader to the younger players on the baseball team.

“I learned that you have to work in the summer to be good in the spring; it doesn’t just happen. Work hard when no one is watching,” he said. “I’ve been teaching the younger guys you can be as great a ball player as you want to be, you just have to put in the work, plus more. I’ve also taught them everything from teaching them how to track down a fly ball, lifting weights, and how to be a great guy on and off the field, no matter what.”

Kanaan worked on some things during the summer and has set a goal for himself and the team. He talked about what will make this team special to watch this season.

“I worked on hitting and pitching a lot during the summer. My individual goal is to be first-team All-State, and our team goal is to bring a blue map back to West Point,” he said. “We have a new hitting coach that has helped us a lot with getting our bats hotter. We have a lot of speed on the bags, and we have dogs in the infield and outfield.”

Kanaan has been blessed to play for a great group of guys in basketball and baseball over the past few years and has learned so much during his time at West Point.

“It’s been great playing with these guys; we’ve made countless memories on the field/court and off it. Playing with these guys, I’ve learned a lot of new things that have helped me with sports and life,” he said. “I have picked up moves from other players in basketball and I have been shown different hitting drills that will really help me this season.”

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