Carmel High School coach Ryan Osborn pegged senior John-Michael Mulloy a slam dunk as the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A Mental Attitude Award winner.
“You’re not going to find a better kid, as involved as he is in the school,” Osborn said.
Mulloy, who serves in the Student Government Cabinet and carries a 3.95 GPA, earned the honor March 23 after helping Carmel (26-1) capture the Class 4A state championship by beating Ben Davis 60-55. The Butler-bound forward has raised approximately $4,000 in three years through the Carmel Dance Marathon for Riley Hospital for Children and was involved in raising funds for Special Olympics. Those are just some of his pursuits.
“It wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s help and my parents pushing me to be a better person and better leader,” he said.
Although his averages of 14.3 points on 55 percent shooting and 8.0 rebounds aren’t eye-popping, Osborn could make a case for the 6-foot-9 Mulloy earning the Mr. Basketball title as well.
“He has the ability to get big numbers,” Osborn said. “If we sold our season on getting John-Michael the ball, he could get big numbers. Now you are talking Mr. Basketball numbers with a kid going to Butler. Then he would be thrown around as a Mr. Basketball candidate as I believe he should be. At what point do wins become important in that race? He leads two teams to back-to-back state championship games and wins one, that’s got to say a lot about a kid that has to ability to score the basketball but chooses to be unselfish, be a good team guy and win.”
Osborn pointed out Mulloy was second on the team with 2.3 assists per game.
Mulloy is accustomed to not focusing on points.
“I’ve grown up being a kid on my AAU teams that doesn’t necessarily score the most,” Mulloy said. “Realizing I was going to be team leader this year and realizing the team goal was to get back to state, that was my only goal, too. Points and all that will come. I was just playing basketball like it should be. I wasn’t going to force anything to try to get my stats up or be a ball hog.”
Mulloy said training with former Harlem Globetrotter Derick Grant, who has since moved to Florida, helped his game between his sophomore and junior season.
“Going into my junior year, I made the most strides,” he said. “I try to make my game more than just a regular big man. I was tall but I was never that physically strong. So it was working on my jump shot and being able to run and do things more like a forward would do.”