There’s a special number on the Flohr
Mesa State Criterion
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION ” A simple number to most but it’s a legacy to a family. To the Flohrs, No. 12 represents the accomplishments of one of the most prolific scorers to ever wear a Mesa State jersey.
From 1979 to ’83, Mesa State Hall of Honor inductee Kevin Flohr scored 1,568 points for the Mavericks en route to becoming a legend in Mavericks hoops history. Whether it was being a two-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection or averaging 18.9 points a game for two consecutive seasons, Kevin made a lasting dent in the Mavs’ record book.
But there is a new No. 12 putting up stats in Brownson Arena, more than two decades after Kevin graduated.
Junior forward Sean Flohr, who decided to wear his father’s number for the first time this year, looks to build upon the Flohr legacy at Mesa State.
“That number means everything to me,” Kevin Flohr said, sitting with his wife, Linda, at a recent game in the familiar confines of Brownson Arena.
As he proudly watches his son warm up for a game against Fort Lewis College on the same floor he played on 26 years ago, he can’t help but get choked up as he tries to describe the feeling of knowing that his son decided to wear his old number.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” Kevin said.
While many would think Sean struggles to escape the huge shadow his father casts, he actually embraces his family’s history with the Mavericks.
“It’s pretty uplifting to me,” Sean said. “I’m proud of what he did and am glad when someone brings it up.”
Sean is not merely a starry-eyed fan of his father’s greatness, however. He has proven to be his own player as his numbers on the court helped spark the Mavericks’ offense in 2008-09.
Flohr’s numbers and gaudy three-point percentage helped Mesa State to a 16-12 season. Sean averaged 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds a game and won a recent Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Week award.
Perhaps most impressive is the fact that he is putting up such stats coming off the bench, for an average of 21.1 minutes per game.
Despite the amount of change the game of basketball has undergone from Kevin’s to Sean’s time, the two still gather comparisons. Doug Schakel, Kevin’s former Mesa State basketball coach, is amazed with the similarity between father and son.
“Sean is probably not as athletic as his dad was, but he definitely has his dad’s shooting touch,” Schakel said. “He is a great outside shooter and I wouldn’t be surprise if he is leading the team in three-point percentage.”
The greatest similarity, according to current head coach Jim Heaps, who was Kevin’s teammate in 1983, is the Flohr family’s competitive nature, which has made for a powerhouse of athletes including younger brother Mike Flohr, who recently transferred from Western State College.
“Its not really winning and losing to me. It’s that I love to compete,” Sean said. “It’s the thrill of the fight.”
As far as thrills are concerned, the crowds of Brownson Arena get plenty from the new generation of Flohrs.
“Its worth all the pain of the practices and workouts for the five minutes of limelight,” said the usually offensive-minded, crowd-pleasing Sean.
But for the current Flohr forward, picking up the number that means the world to his father wasn’t so much trying to match his legacy, as it was about thanking the man who instilled the love of the game in him.
“He is the reason I am the player that I am,” Sean said. “(I did it to) show some respect, show how much he means to me and how much I owe to him. If it wasn’t for all those hours in the driveway with my dad, I wouldn’t be here.”
This article originally appeared in the Mesa State Criterion, the campus newspaper.
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