Staff writer Ryan O’Toole sits down with sophomore standout Jalen Reynolds
By: Rayan O’Toole ~Staff Writer~
Jalen Reynolds is ready for a breakout year. Cited by many as a player to watch in the Big East in 2014-15, Reynolds knows that it’s time for him to step up and grow.
“(This year) I want to bring more energy to the team,” he said.
“(I want to) carve out more of a leader role. Just helping my team when we’re down and when we’re up, just clapping and letting them know that everything is gonna be alright.”
Reynolds grew up in Detroit. At 6-foot-10 and 232 lbs., he has an imposing frame.
However, as a kid, he was very skinny, and his mom did not want him to play basketball until he put on some weight.
He began eating like a mad man until his growth spurt hit in middle school. By eighth grade, Jalen was 6-foot-3.
From that point on, he started taking basketball seriously.
“With the traveling teams, they just put me out there on the court. I was very uncoordinated at the time. But for the most part, I knew I could take this basketball thing somewhere.”
Reynolds’ high school basketball career at Brewster Academy saw him teaming up with former Musketeer star Semaj Christon.
He then came to Xavier and was able to play with Semaj for a year before his departure. Like many, Reynolds knows Christon will be hard to replace.
“One thing I can say about Semaj … it didn’t matter where we were, what time it was … if we were playing basketball, somebody was getting some buckets. Definitely a tough player. I loved and enjoyed playing with him.”
Without Christon, the Muskies will be looking for other scoring options.
Reynolds, known mostly for his defensive presence and high-energy plays, will be asked to carry a bit more of the offensive load along with veteran and fan favorite Matt Stainbrook and new recruit Traevon Bluiett.
Reynolds knows that Bluiett, a highly sought-out recruit, will be important for them down the line.
“He is young and still has a lot to learn, but we are going to need him. He’s just going to have to be ready to be thrown into the fire.”
Looking back on his past, Reynolds is very thankful for the support he has received from his family.
He cited his older brother as one of his biggest inspirations.
“He pretty much taught me everything I know now, as far as being tough on and off the court and being ready to attack when that ball is in my hands.”
Another big inspiration to him came from his uncles.
“I wanna say thank to my uncles Terry and Troy for everything they have done for me, just for being there for me,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds is eager for this basketball season to begin.
Fans of Xavier basketball know Reynolds has been blessed with a wonderful gift as an impressive athlete.
It’s about that time of year where we get to sit back and see what Reynolds can prove on the court.