The King is Dead–Long Live the King

            Three years ago about this time I came to the realization that there was a special basketball player at Hofstra.  His name?  Charles Jenkins.  It was then, as a sophomore, that I started touting him as potential NBA material.  Here are some earlier clips from past articles I wrote about him while he played for Hofstra.

December 19, 2008:

“Two years ago several NBA scouts converged on the Mack Sports Arena, home of the Pride, Hofstra’s basketball team.  The drawing card was Loren Stokes, Hofstra’s All-Conference guard.  The scouts reappeared last year to see Antoine Agudio in action.  Both are currently playing professionally inEuropeand looking forward to another NBA . . . The scouts will not be back again this year.  But they will be back two years from now.  Why?  To give a careful look at Charles Jenkins, Hofstra’s 2007-8 Freshman Conference Rookie of the Year.”

November 27, 2009:

“Does Jenkins have a shot to make it in the NBA?  He might.  His performance this year and next year will no doubt determine his future.  He’s 6’3” with excellent speed and the body of a linebacker, a tenacious defensive player, an excellent rebounder but only (at this time) a fair shooter…all the minimum credentials required to make it at the next level.  But, what has impressed me more is his “learning “ curve which I would dub as exponential…he was good as a freshman, great last year, but looks absolutely super this year.  There’s still room for improvement since it appears that Jenkins has yet to peak.”

December 22, 2010:

“I think he has a better than 50-50 chance of making the NBA.  He’s built like an oversized fullback, a fearsome driver, an excellent shot, and solid defensively; actually, a sight to behold.”

February 11, 2011:

“But I have a guy who in my judgment is more deserving of this (Player of the Year) award.  My selection?  Hofstra’s 6’3” guard–Charles Jenkins, who I also refer to as Sir Charles.  Before you call me crazy, hear me out . . . For starters, the criteria for selection requires that the candidate be a full-time student with a passing GPA, has made outstanding contributions to team play, and be a model citizen both on and off the court. Despite every opponent keying defensively on Charles, he is currently averaging 24 points per game (4th in the nation) with 19 in the second half, 4.3 assists, and 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 50% on 3-point field goals, 60.3% on field goals, 2.3 steals and an assist turnover ratio of 1.8:1.  But all the others under consideration have equally impressive statistics.  Here are a host of intangible factors one will not find with the others.

  1. A versatile player, he has played the role of a 1 guard, a 2 guard, and a small forward.
  2. He appears to enjoy assists more than scoring.
  3. Unlike the scam perpetrated by the NCAA with some of the stars, Charles is a legitimate student-athlete.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, he has made his teammates better.
  5. Finally, he has single-handedly converted the team into not only a winner but also one that can compete with most NCAA teams.

The bottom line is that Charles is the quintessential team player who is not solely interested in scoring.  Twice at the end of a game that Hofstra had already won, Charles was in a breakaway situation and chose not to take the easy lay-up.

November 18, 2011:

Gone is their once-in-a-lifetime superstar Charles Jenkins.  I can still hear the student body’s haunting chant of “Char – les Jen – kins.”  The relentless passage of time has unfortunately altered Hofstra’s comfort zone.  Everybody thrilled to Charles’ last-minute heroics as he, time and time again, extricated the team from certain defeat.

December 18, 2011: 

            Here’s the latest on Charles.  He just signed a $550,000 first year contract with the Warriors, with an option of $650,000 for the following year.  The Warriors brass have indicated that he will initially serve as a backup guard but feel that he has the potential of becoming a premier guard.  But, as far as Hofstra is concerned, the King is dead.

            Long live the King.  Well, maybe.  I commented at an early press conference, that Michael Moore might be the heir apparent. And, he might be.  A transfer from Fordham, his high school and college statistics are as good if not better than those of Charles.  There has also been a significant uptick in performance from last year.  And, from a former scout’s perspective, ability is important, but it is improvement over time that trumps all other factors.

            IsMooregood enough to make the NBA?  I think he has a reasonable chance of being selected late in the second round.  He is very athletic with a wiry 6’5” frame (he looks taller to me), an ideal physique for an NBA player.  He is an exceptional shooter with excellent speed, solid defensively, and superb floor savvy.  On the negative side, he has yet to demonstrate the same intensity as Charles, and they will be keying on him in Conference play.  It’s also a rebuilding year for a team that has demonstrated surprising ability on occasions, but their shooting has been sporadic, have appeared confused against zone defenses, and one can only hope that the big men will develop as the season goes on.

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