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Quinn 'Turtle' Kwasniak channels his inner Steph Curry, breaks Ohio high school single-season 3-point record

The Cornerstone Christian junior broke the record on Tuesday night in the Division IV district semifinals

AKRON, Ohio –  The bedroom walls of Cornerstone Christian Academy junior Quinn "Turtle" Kwasniak are adorned with a signed Golden State Warriors jersey from Stephen Curry and Fathead graphics of the NBA superstar.

And just like his favorite player, Kwasniak can now find his name at the top of the record books for 3-pointers made in a season.

When Kwasniak drained his second 3-pointer of the game against Fairport Harding on Tuesday night in the Division IV district semifinals, he became the state's all-time record holder for 3-pointers made in a season with 141, surpassing the record set by Zach Rasile of McDonald in 2016-17.

The record-breaking triple came with just about a minute left in the first quarter as Kwasniak raised up from the left wing and hit nothing but the bottom of the net. He had tied the record on the previous possession.

"Just today I found out I needed one to tie and two to break," Kwasniak said. "And then at that moment, when I got back to half court, I realized that was it and the crowd was going nuts. It was just a great moment and I was just trying to lock into the rest of the game."

Lock in he did, as Kwasniak knocked down six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 34 points in a 70-63 win.

For his career, Kwasniak now has 379 3-pointers made, trailing Rasile for the OHSAA career record by just 106 makes.

Kwasniak has now hit at least one 3-pointer in 55 straight games, has 13 games with at least seven 3-pointers and has four games with more than 10 3-pointers made, including 13 in a 60-point performance earlier this season against Horizon Science Academy. The 13 3-pointers are tied for fifth in OHSAA history for a single game.

For Quinn's father and head coach, Babe Kwasniak, the realization that his son stands alone at the top of the mountain when it comes to 3-pointers made in OHSAA history in a season still had not sunk in after the game.

"I just think of a little boy who liked wrestling when he was in fifth grade, you know, didn't care about basketball," Babe Kwasniak said. "He just grew up in the gym, has never had a trainer, has never had a shooting coach, never had any of those things that all these kids have now."

In typical Turtle Kwasniak fashion, he deflected any praise given to him, and gave it to others, including a higher power.

"I want to thank God for everything that he's done for me, I just thank him for every day I get to be out here and just with the people I love," Quinn Kwasniak said. "And I'm thankful for my family and friends and I really wouldn't be here without them."

Among those family members he mentioned was his father, who has pushed the son to be the hard worker he has become. 

"I know I don't give him all the credit all the time, but I love him and I wouldn't be here without him," Quinn Kwasniak said of Babe. "So for him to just press me every day like that, it really means a lot. I look up to my dad, I know he's seen all of it. He's seen all the good players play so I just look up to him. I try to listen to him every once in a while and just put in the work."

When told of Turtle's words, Babe's eyes began to well up with tears.

"You know, my wife says the reason why he drives me so crazy is because he's just like me," Babe Kwasniak said, his voice cracking with emotion. "(He's) fearless, gregarious, boisterous, can't shut his mouth. But if there's one thing about my son is he's loyal. If Quinn is your friend, you don't need another friend." 

Cornerstone Christian Academy junior Quinn "Turtle" Kwasniak warms up before their district semifinal game against Fairport Harbor at Firestone High School in Akron on March 5, 2024.

Cornerstone Christian Academy junior Quinn "Turtle" Kwasniak warms up before their district semifinal game against Fairport Harbor at Firestone High School in Akron on March 5, 2024.

That work Babe pushes Quinn to put in? That's what Babe believes is Quinn's true gift from God when it comes to basketball.

"His gift from God is not his ability to shoot the basketball," Babe Kwasniak said. "The gift that God gave him that he has not buried in the sand is his ability to work and his love for shooting the basketball."

The love for the shooting the ball came from watching Steph Curry. During a Golden State Warriors game in 2017 in Cleveland, Under Armor's Kris Stone left tickets for the Kwasniaks to attend the game, as Babe had been to several of Steph's camps. That's all it took.

"He sat us behind the Warriors bench that game and I think my son was hooked," Babe Kwasniak said. "And you know, everyone talks about how Steph's ruined the game. Well, let me tell you what he's done for my son. He's made my son work like this. He's a huge part of my son shooting a basketball like this."

Curry holds the record for the most 3-pointers in a season in both NCAA and NBA history, draining 162 for Davidson in 2007-08 (tied by Liberty's Darius McGhee last season) and 402 for Golden State in 2015-16.

But what is the most important part thing about Curry to the Kwasniaks is his faith. It may just be what strengthened Quinn's walk with God.

"You know how important our faith is to us and especially glorifying God and everything we do," Babe Kwasniak said. "I don't care what gets you to Jesus. Just that you get there. My son I think started his belief because Steph's a believer. And it was always hard for me during those games, because I hear everyone talking about the mouthpiece and it's just like, you don't get it man. Like this dude walks the walk."

Something else Quinn Kwasniak got from Steph Curry were his practice drills, and Quinn does them every day. That included at 5:30 in the morning one day because he wanted to go to Cedar Point with his brother BK, but he had to get that work in first. And he will work wherever and whenever he can.

One way he got into a gym was Babe's friend Roger Smith, who owns the Sport Plant in Euclid. When Quinn needed a court, the man he calls 'Uncle Roger' made sure he had a key.

"Shout out to all the people that get me in the gym," Quinn Kwasniak said. "Uncle Roger's a big one. He's always got me in the gym, even when I can't find a gym. During COVID I was in there too, so a big shout out to him."

Both Quinn and Babe were quick to point out that the record was a group effort, not just set by the kid who was letting the ball fly. 

One of Babe's former players from Villa Angela-St. Joseph was at the game Friday night streaming the game to his former teammates because as Babe said, they "helped raise (Quinn)".

And then there is Pete Titus, who coached Quinn in grade school, but also helped the father and son when Babe was coaching Quinn in eighth grade during COVID.

"If I didn't coach him in eighth grade, I don't think he would make it with me now," Babe Kwasniak said. "Coach Titus had to be the kind of the mediator because that's when (Quinn) was just learning."

Even back then, Quinn was putting in the work. That's why when people claim that his playing time or success only come because he is playing at a Division IV school or because he plays for his dad, Babe laughs. After all, Babe wasn't even going to start Quinn in the first game of his freshman year but the kid gave him no choice by putting on a show in the final scrimmage.

"(University of Mount Union head coach) Mike Fuline is one of the best coaches in the country at any level," Babe Kwasniak said. "Mike Fuline always tells me the truth. He tells me when I'm good and he tells me when I suck. When Mike grabs me and says I have never seen a kid in high school shoot the ball like that, that's about as good as you can get." 

That talent has come from the relentless work Quinn Kwasniak puts in every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Just like the night last season when he went home after a loss to Archbishop Hoban and took shots in the driveway in freezing cold weather while wearing a ski mask in the dark.

"These guys all say no days off and ball is life, but be about it, don't just talk about it," Babe Kwasniak said. "And I think that's something he also got from Steph is his work ethic. I don't think people understand. (They say) he ruined the game. Well, okay. He made my kid."

And on Tuesday night, you couldn't miss the bright Under Armour Steph Curry 4's that Quinn Kwasniak was wearing. He picked a pair of Steph Curry's for this game for one specific reason.

"For the record, of course," Quinn Kwasniak said with a smile.

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh

To learn more about Cornerstone Christian Academy, visit their website