Beech Grove basketball star Joe Pich has helped lead the Hornets to a 9-7 so far this season.
He’s also the top student in his class, but things haven’t always been easy for Pich, who lost his father at the age of nine.
“It was not expected at all, very sudden, it was hard on us just as any death would be,” he said. “He was a great father, so it was hard.”
Being the oldest of six kids, Joe had to step into a leadership role for his siblings.
“Always steps up, just kinda like the rock for the other kids, if they need help with anything,” his mother, Annisa said.
“It’s hard to find kids who other kids look up to,” added his stepfather Mark. “He’s a great role model.”
During that difficult time and still today, basketball has provided a refuge.
“It was a way to get your mind right, get your mind off things,” Joe said. “That’s carried on to even daily challenges. If I’ve had a stressful day, just coming to basketball practices or going to the gym and just shooting, it’s made a world of a difference.”
Beech Grove starts its postseason journey at sectionals at the start of March.