Athlete of the Week: Jaymeir Garnett

Athlete of the Week: Jaymeir Garnett


Athlete of the Week: Jaymeir Garnett



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Athlete of the Week: Jaymeir Garnett, Smyrna basketball

THE WEEK: Had 56 points and 31 rebounds in the final three games as Smyrna won the DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament for the first time. Contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in a 63-51 quarterfinal win over Woodbridge, 16 points and 12 rebounds in a 51-32 semifinal victory over St. Georges and 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 61-53 championship win over Caravel.

THE TITLE: Garnett was at his best in the title game, scoring repeatedly as Caravel concentrated its defense on Smyrna guard Caleb Matthews. “We knew what we had to do to get the job done,” Garnett said. “Our team played well. There was a lot of pressure on Caleb, so I had to take over more.”

THE COACH SAYS: Eagles coach Andrew Mears said Garnett, a sophomore, gets his points while staying within the team concept. “He’s been a tremendous basketball player for us,” Mears said. “He’s capable of that on any occasion. But for us, he kind of just takes what’s coming to him.”

THE TEAMMATE SAYS: Guard Caleb Matthews said being able to get the ball inside to the 6-foot-5 Garnett help to spread defenses. “He’s brought us a really strong big guy, a great rebounder,” Matthews said. “One of our leaders, on and off the court. He comes out there and plays hard every night, gives it all he’s got.”

THE FLOW: Garnett wasn’t expecting a huge game in the final. He said Caravel’s defensive approach left openings for him. “It was the way the game was working out,” Garnett said. “I had to step up, play a big role, and that’s what I did.”

THE IMPROVEMENT: “From start to finish, he has greatly improved,” Mears said. “From both a leadership standpoint and a maturity standpoint, and then his basketball skill and IQ have improved. He’s still a young guy, so being in the spotlight early on, it’s going to test you. And he’s been able to ace those tests.”

Smyrna's Jaymeir Garnett takes his piece of the net after the Eagles' 61-53 win in the DIAA state tournament title game at the Bob Carpenter Center on March 11.

Smyrna’s Jaymeir Garnett takes his piece of the net after the Eagles’ 61-53 win in the DIAA state tournament title game at the Bob Carpenter Center on March 11.

THE TEAMWORK: Garnett, Matthews and 7-2 junior center Zubi Nwankwo learned how to play together better as the season went along. “We share the ball a lot more from the beginning of the season, play more team basketball,” Garnett said.

THE CLASSROOM: “I like Biology,” Garnett said. “I like how we work on animals, look at their cells.”

THE FUTURE: “I want to play D-I basketball,” Garnett said. “I’m going to try to make it big.”

Send Athlete of the Week nominations to Brad Myers at Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ

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