As the youngest of four basketball-playing brothers, Aaron Coston wanted to accomplish something none of his siblings had done before: win a division title and score 1,000 career points.
Rondout Valley High achieved both in its senior season. Coston, who led Rondout Valley High to his first Section 9 title in 26 years and finished with more than 1,000 points, is Daily Freeman’s Player of the Year.
“The season was very magical. When I go into this season, especially my final year, my priority was always to take it to the point where we win, Coston said.” This season meant a lot. I did not have the previous season because of the COVID thing and it felt like I had something to prove. When I went into this, my mentality was to win. ”
Rondout did not field a team last spring in the shortened “winter” season, which cost Coston his junior year.
“It was hard to get back on track with things,” he said. “I lost a few steps. That’s how it felt. When I got on the field again and I had to train, I got back on track and it felt back to normal. Everything felt smooth.”
Something has also changed since Coston last wore a Gander jersey two years earlier. He had a big growth spurt.
“I never really stopped growing. I think in my second year I was 6-foot-4,” said Coston, who sprouted to 6-8. When he started as a rookie, Coston was a 6-0 point guard.
“I had to fit into my body, I would say, and get used to being a bigger guy. I had to play the role of a big man more,” he said. “My arms got longer too, so I had to “Find out my release point with the jump shot. With the longer arms, you can not really push the jump shot, you have to let it float. It all has to be in one motion.”
With its wing catcher, Coston became a dominant force on the boards and could be used on forward or center. This simply added to his strong long and medium range shooting and backcourt play. He was used all over the field during the season.
“I can make a wing and play on the post, even play the 2nd (shooting guard),” Coston said.
“It was ideal for me to go down in the paint against smaller players, so I had to figure out the game because basketball is just a game of chess,” he said. “You have to figure it out and read the court. If I get a matchup with a bigger guy than me, or he’s my size, I’ll take him out to the arch and try to create some space and dance a little and try to pass. “If I have a little guy, it’s probably going to be the mail.”
Coston averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2.4 blocks per game. He scored 461 points on 56% shooting. He scored his 1,000. points in a semifinal against Red Hook. The eighth-seeded Ganders upset Marlboro, Red Hook and John S. Burke Catholic to win Section 9, Class B title.
He was named the Section 9, Class B player.
“As a younger kid, I always wanted to score 1,000 because all my brothers never made it,” he said. “It was a great goal to hit, just to put an end to all my brothers. It feels a little good to do that as the youngest.”
The section crown was the true quest.
“Rondout has not really made that much noise over the years when it comes to basketball. We were always looked over, all of us, as a whole, ”Coston said. – When we went into the season, it was clear that we wanted to win. We really haven’t seen times like this on Rondout in a while. It’s great to get the recognition and make people aware that we can do the same things that any other team can do. ”
Coston praised new athletic director and first-year coach Jeff Panek for his efforts.
“He told us we can be a section team if we play to our potential,” Coston said. “He showed us that we can be winners.”
Basketball has been a family affair.
“My family has always played basketball over the years,” Coston said. “It was my first love, and it was my father’s first love. When I was born, it seemed like I was going to have a ball in my hand. It was my first toy, and my father taught us pretty much everything we did. “knew and paved the way for all of us. I have also learned a lot from my brothers. They have been a great motivation for what I have done so far.”
All of his brothers played for Rondout: Willie (educated 2006), Durrell (’07) and Avery (’16). Durrell’s team won a Mid-Hudson Athletic League title.
Ironically, his father, Willie D., and five uncles also played for a school, but that was at Roosevelt.
Coston is ready to go up to college level.
“I’ve talked to a couple of colleges and looked around, just to make sure I’re making the right choice,” he said. “I will never go too fast into anything.”