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Friday, March 26, 2010

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Q&A with Jalen Kendrick

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Q&A with Jalen Kendrick
By Michael Carvell

Jelan Kendrick is Georgia's lone representative in the McDonald's All-America basketball game Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 Kendrick, who has signed with Memphis, began his illustrious prep career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, played at Westlake as a junior, and played this past season at Wheeler.

Q. What are your realistic goals for Wednesday's game?

A. It's a great accomplishment to be the only player from Georgia to make it, and to represent the state I love so much ... No. 1, I want my team to win. Who wouldn't want to break a record in the McDonald's All-America game? You know, to let everybody know you are a great player and deserved to be in the game. Why not?

Q. How did you feel about your senior year at Wheeler?

A. It wasn't what I was used to, so I had to adjust. It didn't work out as I had thought at the end [with winning a state championship], but it was a great learning experience. It got me groomed for next year when I go to Memphis. It got me out of my element. In the schools I attended [previously], all the focus was just on me. This year at Wheeler, I focused on everybody else and got my team involved.

Q. Thoughts on seeing your former team, Westlake, reach the championship game?

A. It was a great feeling. You know, I wanted us to win, or for them to win. Sad to say, neither one of us won. I believe if we were one team together, we would have wrecked the whole country. It was great seeing them play because those guys are like brothers to me. We're always together, still hanging out every other weekend. Anything they accomplished, I felt as proud as I could be for them because we're like family.

Q. What are some ways do you think you may be misunderstood?

A. My transition from the summer [of 2008] averaging 30 points to ... this year people thought I fell off [17 ppg at Wheeler], as far as my high school season, when I really didn't. I was just taking a different perspective to the game. I wanted to get my team more involved so we could win. That's my whole purpose in playing basketball, to win. ... Another thing, people always have something to say about my attitude, being where I'm from or whatever the case may be. But you can ask any of the high school coaches who have coached me, and they have nothing bad to say about me. ... And you know, people always ask me why did you move around so much? It was not my decision. I would've loved to have stayed at SWAC with my coach, but he left to go to a college team. My mom and dad decided that I needed to go to a different school. Last year, around summer time, I wanted to [finish] at Westlake so bad, but my mom and dad decided that I needed to go to another school. People always thought I was making my own decisions, but it was my mom and dad's decision. I've never questioned their decisions because their decisions have helped me so much in life.


Anonymous said...

Jelan is a great kid, but often misunderstood. One thing that easy to see is his high basketball IQ. Jelan is throwback player with a full set of basketball skillls. I think what's misunderstood is he's too unselfish. You would think someone with his skill would hog the ball. He's a great pick up for the Tigers.

Coach said...

Josh Pastner has made a point to recruit kids who are good kids while being great basketball players. I'm excited to see Memphis keeping a nice pipeline of kids coming out of the Atlanta area - Jalen following Wesley Witherspoon in 2008 and Robert Dozier 2005.