BROOKVILLE — DuBois Central Catholic junior Justin Miknis is pretty good at two sports and he has plenty of reasons to back that up.
His dad Dan was a standout catcher who played collegiately.
His mom Kim starred for the Lady Cardinals basketball team during her high school years.
Justin’s older brother Jake is a red-shirt freshman on the St. Bonaventure University baseball team.
But the biggest reason, really, that Miknis has shined in two sports is talent and hard work. Already committed to play Division I baseball at Kent State, Miknis reached the 1,000-point mark as an underclassman in basketball.
He was 17 points shy of four digits going into Monday night’s loss to Brookville and finished with 20. He’s the 13th full-time Cardinal to reach the 1,000-point milestone and first since assistant coach Chris Marshall did it his junior year as well in 2010.
“He has great character, a great kid who works hard,” Cardinals head coach Dom Varacallo said. “He’s the hardest worker, the first one there and the last one out and from his standpoint, and it’s good to have a leader by example who goes out and gives it his all. … He’s the same kid whether he’s up 30 or down 30 and that says a lot about him as a person and how he approaches the game.”
For Miknis, it was always about what season it was when it came to what his favorite sport was.
“When I was younger, whenever it was basketball season I wanted to be a basketball player and when it was baseball season I wanted to do that,” Miknis said.
While his dad certainly passed on his baseball ability to his son, Justin gives the nod to his mom for the basketball side ... and perhaps a little baseball too.
“We always used to go shoot around at the park and obviously with my dad quitting basketball in eighth grade I think, most of my talent in basketball came from my mom, but she also played baseball until she was 14, so she was good too,” Miknis smiled.
“It’s just motivation, especially from my parents. They always push me to go hard and they’ve been great.”
Miknis gave a nod to his teammates, especially the support from senior Thomas Grecco.
“He’s awesome,” Miknis said. “We’ve always played basketball and baseball together coming up as little kids. We’ve always been together and it’s been awesome to have him around.”
And getting his milestone as a junior is something that Varacallo knows one can’t take for granted. An injury his senior year helped prevent him from reaching 1,000 points, just four points shy.
“It’s a great milestone,” Varacallo said. “I had two brothers reach 1,000 points, so I’ve seen it and it takes a lot of work and a lot of breaks have to go the right way. For Justin, he’s given himself that opportunity and that’s all you can ask for. I’m just so proud of him. And from my perspective, I’d rather have him to do it than me. As a coach, you’d rather see someone else succeed than yourself.”