A family fairytale for Hoban’s history books


Cassidy Wren, Staff-Writer

With Hoban’s legendary Division I State Championship win over Pickerington Central just behind us, there is no doubt you have heard the chatter of the famous father-son duo. Head Coach T.K. Griffith and senior Andrew Griffith earned the opportunity to make this amazing state-run side by side. If you thought that this alone was a touching story, just wait until you hear the fairytale foundation behind it.


Hoban basketball has been in a drought for over three decades following our last state championship win over 30 years ago in 1989. In this run, Griffith himself earned the title his senior year alongside a talented team. A short four years later, Griffith came back to take up the role of head coach.


Griffith became a well-known figure at Hoban due to his intense dedication to academics, specifically his English classes, which would bring joy to each student he taught. He always had a love for the Knights’ basketball team and continued to coach for the next 26 years, during which he had a few good runs, but could never quite clutch that final victory.


During this time, Griffith was coaching another, lesser-known basketball team, the St. Francis de Sales CYO team, where his youngest son, Andrew, played. 


Griffith recounts “Since Andrew’s been about as tall as my kneecap, he’s been in the gym with me. He was raised on Hoban Basketball.”


In Griffith’s 27 year as Head Coach, he was joined by his youngest son on the team that he cherished, and two years later the boys shocked everyone by climbing their way to the Regional Final in the Division I State Tournament, a feat that many had prayed for, but no one expected. 


This year, Griffith’s 30-year coaching and Andrew’s senior year, the boys shocked the state once again. With an unexpectedly successful regular season record, the team entered the state tournament seeded high. They fought through game after game, blowout after blowout, as people began to question how long they could last. 


Once the team defeated Walsh Jesuit in the Elite Eight and Saint John’s Jesuit in the Final Four, players, coaches, and fans alike began to wonder if this could be the season. Though the Knights had started out as underdogs, racking up zero votes on a Northeast Ohio media poll to even make it this far, they had now earned the opportunity to prove everyone wrong. Could Griffith family history repeat itself?


As the clock ran out and the buzzer sounded, it was official, the Knight’s had won the Division I State Championship, this time with two Griffiths on the court. As one dedicated Hoban fan tweeted, “Disney does not write stories as good as this.”


“I went straight to my dad because I knew that was the first person I wanted to go to,” Andrew stated after the game’s end.


The team made history this year and the Griffith name will live on in Hoban legend. Griffith was a champion as a player and now as a coach and dedicated father, with his son by his side, making this sweet victory that much sweeter. 


The two shared a hug at the end of the big game that brought tears to the eyes of those who knew its backstory, and the journey as a whole pulls at our heartstrings. I am certain that every Knight will cherish the fairytale ending that the Griffith family has etched into Hoban history.


Griffith said it best at the pep rally commemorating the championship saying,“Gratitude is what we have in our hearts for this experience that has truly been a gift from God.”