Name: Kevin Jefferson
School: Suffern High School
Athletic accomplishments: As of Thursday, Jefferson was averaging 19.9 points per game. He’s made 50 3-pointers this season. He scored his 1,000th career point in a win over Clarkstown South on Jan. 20. He was at 1,036 career points and was 24 points away from breaking Howard Levy’s school record of 1,059. Jefferson was named to the LoHud “Super 7” second team as well as the MSG Varsity Section 1-AA Second Team. He’s a member of the varsity boys volleyball team.
Academic accomplishments: Jefferson has a 3.88 GPA. He’ll be attending Union College next year. He’s taking three honors-level courses including physics, math and English. He’s also taking four college-level courses including University Spanish I and II, Albany Pre-Calculus and Albany Intro to Business. He was inducted into the National Honor Society.
School and community involvement: Jefferson’s the treasurer of the volleyball program and Athletes for a Cause. He’s a member of Peer Leadership. Jefferson’s a volunteer instructor with the Suffern Youth Volleyball Camp and the Suffern Youth Basketball Camp. He also volunteers at the Suffern Soup Kitchen Holiday Event.
Getting to know Kevin Jefferson
The Journal News: Did you ever think the day would come that you’d get to the point where you’d be crossing the 1,000 career-points milestone?
Kevin Jefferson: It’s very difficult to get to 1,000 points. It was never a done deal that it was going to happen. In eighth grade at the end of the JV season, I was pulled up to varsity for the sectional playoffs. I was able to hit my first 3-pointer when I was in eighth grade, so being able to score at such young age, it made me feel a little bit more confident that maybe that was a milestone that was little more attainable, that I could reach one day.
TJN: What was going through your head when you hit the milestone?
KJ: It was a surreal feeling. I had a lot of family and friends there to support me. Even the South fans gave me a standing ovation. Being able to reach such a milestone in front of people who really do care about me and support me every step of the way made it such a special, perfect moment.
TJN: You scored your first points on varsity on a 3-pointer. How did you score your 1,000th point?
KJ: It was on a 3-pointer. To be honest I really was thinking about it. I was going to the game knowing I was six points away from 1,000. Obviously, the first thing in my mind was two 3s and I can reach it. When I hit that second 3 and people were talking to me after the game, ‘I remember your first shot was a 3.’ It really hit me that wow, to start and end my milestone with a 3, it’s just very funny how that worked out.
TJN: What would it mean to you to break Howard Levy’s school scoring record and etch your name into Suffern High School basketball history?
KJ: It’s hard to believe. Growing up, I’d always go the games at the high school and I’ve seen such unbelievable players and scorers on that court who could put the ball in the net. To think I could be the all-time leading scorer at Suffern High School is just surreal. There’s been great players every single year and it’s an honor. It really is.
TJN: And if you break that record on another 3-pointer?
KJ: That would be crazy. I’ll try to do that; I’ll see if I can get that done.
TJN: Your thoughts on the volleyball season?
KJ: (Coach Kim) Cleary-Connolly is one my favorite people in the world. She supports me through every step of the way in all athletics and in all aspects of me as a person. She’s always there for me, always helping me out whenever I need her. So she made my volleyball experience an unbelievable one. She was the best coach anyone could ever ask for. Being able to play under her was awesome.
TJN: What made Union College the right fit for you?
KJ: I’ve always been interested in Union. It has all the aspects I’m looking for in academics. I’m able to play Division III basketball there so I can continue playing basketball, which I’ve always wanted to do. I stayed for an overnight and I just really connected with the guys. Awesome guys, they made me feel really comfortable on campus. I really enjoyed everything they had. It wasn’t hard to make that decision.
TJN: Do you know what you want to major in?
KJ: I’m actually undecided but I’m thinking about majoring in something in the business field.
TJN: What is Athletes for a Cause?
KJ: It’s a club at school that promotes healthy decisions, for being good role models and setting a good example.
TJN: What’s been the best moment in your time with Athletes for a Cause?
KJ: Probably having former NBA star Chris Herren come to school. Herren got addicted to drugs and it affected his basketball career. He spoke about how he made the wrong decisions but learned from it and tried to lead us on the right path and not follow down those footsteps.
The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors students for their academic, athletic and community achievements. Each week a winner is selected from nominees submitted by athletic directors. Only seniors can be nominated, and the award can be won only once. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. Monday. The presenting sponsor for The Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete program is Gary Goldberg Financial Services.