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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

After two years, Kenny Pohto steps into leadership role at last

Kristy Mace
Kenny Pohto, a junior forward, enters the arena during the team presentation at Shocker Madness on Oct. 7.

When junior Kenny Pohto speaks, the team listens. 

At least, that’s according to Wichita State’s head men’s basketball coach, Paul Mills. In a recent press conference, Mills made a point of highlighting Pohto’s leadership on the team during the offseason. 

Pohto, a forward from Stockholm, Sweden, said that it was high time for him to step into a leadership position on the team.

“It’s time to start being a leader and take care of the little ones, like Isaac (Abidde) and Jacob Germany, just to name a few,” Pohto said. “I feel like when I talk to the players, they understand that I’m trying to help them, and I’m not just messing around ”

According to Pohto, effective guidance comes from honesty. Interacting with his teammates has taught him the physical and emotional traits of a strong leader.

“I just try to have eye contact with them and be straight up with them,” he said. “Tell them what they did wrong and tell them what they got to do better.”

Aside from his own leadership, Pohto credits the team’s mettle to Paul Mills’s approach as a coach. 

“I think the mentality (has) been getting stronger,” Pohto said. “Coach Mills … he tries to break you sometimes. And I feel like that’s been helping me a lot. He tests us and tries to make us give up, but he can try all he wants to; you know I’m not gonna give up.” 

A central goal for the leader is improving communication between team members, especially on the defensive end.

“It’s just something you got to do,” Pohto said. “I’ve been trying to get on people who don’t really talk and people (who) are living a little laid back and not wanting to talk … and tell them what’s to be done,” Pohto said. 

As for his own goals, Pohto looks forward to doing his part to make sure the team wins.

“For myself, I just (want to) be a continuous guy,” Pohto said.“Just be able to show up and perform every day.” 

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About the Contributors
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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