Looking Back: B. J. Jenkins

MurraySports

 

Jenkins finished his high school career as Green Run's all-time leading scorer with 1,357 points (17.4 points per game). He also had 506 rebounds, 511 assists, and 383 steals. He was a three-time All-Beach District First Team selection and he earned a spot on the All-Tidewater Area Second Team and All-Eastern Region squad in his last three seasons at GRHS. He is the only player in Virginia high school basketball history to record consecutive quadruple-doubles.

“I had a lot of offers after high school but things happened with my high school coach and they dropped off,” Jenkins recalled. “So in the end Liberty was really only choice I had. VCU, James Madison, Wake Forest and West Virginia had expressed an interest earlier.”

As a freshman at Liberty Jenkins played 14 minutes per game and averaged 4.8 points while shooting 37.2 percent from three-point range. He started two games, scored 16 points against Southern Virginia, and reached double figures on five other occasions.

As a sophomore he started 31 games and averaged 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds. He scored a career-high 24 points against Niagara. But after the 2007-08 season he decided to transfer.

 “When I told them I wanted to transfer they put it on the internet,” Jenkins said. “I got a call 30 minutes later from coach (Billy) Kennedy. He told me they were interested in me and thought I would fit in with their program. He sounded sincere and like he knew what he was talking about. Maryland contacted me too but it was late and they didn't have any scholarships left so I would have had to pay my own way the year I sat out.”

Of course once he got to Murray State he had to spend a year on the sidelines before he could play.

“Sitting out a year was very difficult,” Jenkins said. “When you're doing conditioning and you're about to pass out you tell yourself it will help you during the season. But it wasn't going to help me because I wasn't going to play.

“I think it made me a better player though. I had never really gotten to observe before. As a player you know the pace of the game is important but when you're on the court you can't really see it. Watching from the bench gave me a better sense of when you should slow down and when you should speed up.”

Unfortunately last season ended with a whimper as the Racers lost in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament to Austin Peay. And even though he didn't play in that game Jenkins carries the pain of that loss with him still.

“That loss hurt me just as much as it did anyone else,” he said.” When I got in the locker room I saw the look on everyone's face. So I took a picture with my phone made it my screen saver. I don't want to experience that again. But I think we came in this year with the idea that we wouldn't accept anything less than a championship.”

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