January Player of the Month – Gonzaga Forward Kris Jenkins
There have been many big performances and many clutch performances this year around the DMV. Kris Jenkins is responsible for both. ON MLK day in one of the most anticipated games in recent history Jenkins hit a shot for the ages. The game was being televised locally, the game was packed to capacity in perhaps the biggest high school gymnasium in the DMV, and the shot kept Gonzaga undefeated.
Five days later Jenkins was on the big stage again. Bender arena on the American University campus was the scene. The junior went 6-6 from 3-point land and had the crowd in awe. He couldn’t miss. He finished that game with 27 points and had registered 20+ points in his sixth consecutive game. In fact Jenkins has scored at least a dozen points in all but one game this season. He is shooting 77.8% from the line and his versatility and ability to shine when the pressure is on has big time D-1 schools salivating. Jenkins played significant minutes for Gonzaga as a true freshman, on a team that featured many players who are now having major success at major D-1 schools. Jenkins and teammate Nate Britt form one of the best junior tandems in the country. The most important stat for the 6’5” junior is the record Gonzaga holds, 19-2. And they have done so without Britt, a UNC commit, who has been out with a leg injury for the last 7 games.
Capitol Hoops had a chance to meet with Kris and ask him some questions about his life, his recruitment, his season, and other things.
Capitol Hoops: Tell us what the significance is of the pink T-shirt you where before every game.
Kris Jenkins: I wear it for my grandmom who died of breast cancer.
CH: As far as colleges go, who is recruiting you the hardest?
KJ: Miami, Rutgers, Villanova, Penn State, Boston College, and Xavier.
CH: When you do make a decision on college will you look for a particular system that fits your style, look for a school where you can get immediate minutes? What factors will you take into consideration?
KJ: I’m not sure, not looking for a style, just where I feel I will fit in best.
CH: Tell us what it is like to play with a point guard like Nate.
KJ: It’s great, he is just such a great player.
CH: Tell us what it was like to play on the team as a freshman with players like Tyler (Thornton), Cedric (Lindsay), and Malcolm (Lemmons) and what you learned from those guys who are all having very successful collegiate careers.
KJ: It was great. We learned a lot about leadership skills and how to win tough games.
CH: Tell us what it is like to play for coach Turner. How has he helped you improve your game?
KJ: He is always teaching us and is a great motivator.
CH: What do you like to study, what type of career would you like to get in to after college/basketball?
KJ: I would like to major in communications.
[CH: Tell us about the most memorable basketball experience you’ve ever had.
KJ: Hitting that shot against Patterson.
CH: Do you play any other sports?
KJ: No, I don’t.
CH: What does the Gonzaga/DeMatha rivalry mean to you?
KJ: It means a lot, its a tough rivalry and it’s fun to play in.
CH: Whats your favorite video game?
CH: What aspect of your game do you think you need to work on most in preparation for the next level?
KJ: Guarding on the perimeter.
CH: Tell us about your AAU team and compare it to HS ball.
KJ: I play AAU with DC Assault, they are both great.
CH: What do you like to do when your not playing ball or doing school work?
KJ: Chilling with family, friends, and my girlfriend.
CH: Do you have any brothers or sisters? Anyone else in your family a good basketball player?
KJ: I have two sisters. Both of my parents played basketball.
CH: What NBA or college player reminds you of yourself the most?
KJ: Kevin Love
CH: Where can we find you on twitter?
Expect big things from Kris in the future. Gonzaga has as good a chance as ever to win the WCAC this year and thinking about next year is downright scary.