Specht shatters JPII basketball’s all-time scoring record

Sam Specht, a four-year starter for the Pope John Paul II High School basketball team, has planted his flag atop the school’s record books, becoming the Knights’ all-time leading scorer.

Specht broke the record, previously held by 2017 graduate Jalon Cambridge, with a 3-point basket from the corner in JPII’s first game of the season against Arlington High School in Memphis.

“I would have broken it last year but we missed some games,” and during his sophomore year, he missed nine games because of an injury, he said. As of Jan. 14, Specht has scored 1,417 points during his time at JPII. The previous record was 1,149 points by Cambridge.

“I was happy it happened,” Specht said. “I’m just trying to get it up so no one else can break it.” The 6-foot-7 Specht is an excellent shooter from 3-point range, said JPII Coach Charles Wade. “He owns every school record for 3-pointers.”

During his four years playing for the Knights, Wade has seen Specht work hard to improve. “He’s a gym rat,” Wade said. “He wants to get better and he has a high basketball IQ.”

As a senior, the normally laid-back Specht has become a more vocal leader on the court, Wade said. “When he speaks, they know he means business.”

Specht already has three offers to play basketball in college and is still talking to other schools, he said. “I’m probably going to wait until basketball is over to decide what to do,” Specht said.

With Specht’s size and skill, “he’s going to play at the next level,” Wade said. “His best basketball is definitely ahead of him.” Specht, the son of Mark Specht, is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville.