Jahvon Quinerly had no earthly idea that “two summers ago” when he, Isaiah Washington and Ja’Quaye James coined the phrase “Jelly Fam” while playing around with different moves in the gym that it would take off and become a social media phenomenon.
All because of a flashy flick of the wrist on a finger roll.
“It’s crazy what it’s grown in to,” said Quinerly, a rising senior five-star point guard at Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.) who runs with Sports U (N.J.) in the Under Armour Association. “I get kids running up to me after every game wanting pictures and stuff like that because of the Jelly. It’s gotten to a point no one thought it would get to.”
Still, with Washington — the most recognizable face attached to the movement and the man who literally trademarked the name — heading off to play at Minnesota next season after graduating from St. Raymond in the Bronx, the obvious question is: Where does Jelly Fam go from here?
“It’s in good hands,” said James, a rising senior point guard at Teaneck (N.J.). “We’re the last two from the Jelly Fam movement that are still in high school.”
“We’re ready to take it to the next level.”
Both are certainly off to a strong start after strong springs on their respective circuits.
Quinerly is posting 20 points, 5.5 assists on the UAA, and James is averaging 10.6 points per game for the Playaz Club (N.J.) on the Nike EYBL.
And, yes, both are managing their fair share of Jellys.
“I definitely do it once a game or more,” Quinerly said of the Jelly move. “It’s just a part of my game so it comes second nature to me. It’s the move that everyone wants to see.”
Quinerly said when he’s on the break, fans stand up with the same excitement and anticipation they show five-star forward Zion Williamson, high school basketball’s most famous human highlight reel, when he approaches the rim.
Makes sense for a move NBA stars such as Kyrie Irving have added to their regular repertoire. Irving is also a New Jersey product.
“I talk to Kyrie from time to time and he loves the movement,” Quinerly said. “It’s cool to see everyone posting #JellyFam on social media. I love seeing that.”
Still, Quinerly and James said in order to truly be Jelly Fam a player must pull off three Jellys in one game.
“That’s the rule,” James said.
“But it’s gotta be on somebody,” Quinerly added. “It’s just like dunking on somebody, but you’re just Jellying on them instead.”
As for the next steps for the movement, Quinerly said “big things are coming.”
“We like where things are at right now,” he said. “It’s big, but it can get even bigger. I’m hearing rumors about maybe getting the Jelly on NBA 2K18 so we’ll see.”
The initial group included seven players, including St. John’s signee Sidney Wilson and Ole Miss signee Milicia Reid, who goes be the “First Lady of Jelly Fam.”
“We all talk to each other and make decisions about Jelly Fam together,” Quinerly said. “More than anything, we all love that it’s just something positive that we’re doing and it’s something that’s changing the game.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY