By JOSH FRYE
Atmore Christian School’s Caeden Battles cleared the 1,000-career point mark earlier this month, hitting the plateau on January 7, during a contest against Central Christian, a game the Rams lost, 71-60.
Battles managed 26 points during the setback, reaching the 1,000-point mark on a second-half free throw.
“Having 1,000 career points is a very cool feeling,” the school’s second-highest scorer said. “I am still in disbelief that I have achieved that milestone, but going into the game, I was not concerned with making it. I just wanted the team to win. It would have meant a lot more if we were able to do that.”
The 6-1 junior is not focused on individual records. He is more concerned about his team. His philosophy and logic of selfless thinking stems from his father, Tim Battles, who not only serves as the school’s head basketball coach but is also ACS’s headmaster and a teacher there.
“My dad is a mentor to me,” Caeden said. “He has always been there in every situation and has always pushed us to be a great player and person. He treats the entire the team, myself included, the same. It means a lot to have him always in our corner.”
After Caeden scored the milestone point, his father smiled and pushed the team to keep working.
“I’m one proud papa,” Battles stated. “Caeden is always thinking about the team instead of himself. That is the mindset of the entire team. They play for one another, and to have him be able to become only the second player in school history to reach that milestone, it puts a smile on your face as a father. I am very proud of him and the person he is.”
Caeden said his goals are for the team to make it into the final four and eventually come out on top with the first championship in school history. Personally, Battles would like to beat the school record of 1,402 career points set by Ethan Eller in 2015.
With Caeden averaging more than 20 points per game, that goal could be reached quicker than anyone expects. The 11th-grader has already added over 100 points to his career total since breaking the millennium mark.
The Rams as a team have become a Panhandle Christian Conference powerhouse this season, posting an overall record of 9-5 and currently holding second place in league standings.
The Rams will host Escambia Academy this Friday, January 29.