Jackals Ready For Friday Opener

Jamestown Jackals forward Ohndo Smith of New York City signs a basketball held by head coach Mark Anderson during a press conference at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon. Jamestown opens its inaugural season in The Basketball League at 7 p.m. Friday against Albany at the Physical Education Complex at Jamestown Community College. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

The Jamestown Jackals have finalized their roster for The Basketball League opener, which is scheduled for Friday night at the Physical Education Complex at Jamestown Community College.

Of those dozen players, three — Michael Davenport, Daniel Mulamba and Ohndo Smith — are returnees from last year’s North American Basketball League entry but a fourth, Glenroy Carr, is no stranger to the city. In fact, he made several trips here when he was a member of the Sweet Home High School basketball team from 2004-07.

“All I remember is the crowd (at McElrath Gymnasium at Jamestown High School),” the 6-foot-7 forward said Monday during a news conference at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. “It was like a college atmosphere at a high school game (with) just the overwhelming support.”

Jackals head coach Mark Anderson is hopeful for a similar atmosphere at Jamestown CC at 7 p.m. Friday when the Jackals entertain Albany and again at 3 p.m. Sunday when they host New York.

“We’ve had three or four practices since training camp ended,” he said. “I promised you back in August that we would put together a team that would be enjoyable to watch and be enjoyable to be around, and I think we’ve accomplished that.”

The Jamestown Jackals announced their roster and their schedule for the inaugural season in The Basketball League at a press conference at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon. In anticipation of their opener, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday against Albany at the Physical Education Complex at Jamestown Community College, the Jackals autographed a basketball that was donated to the CSHOF, located at 15 W. 3rd St. in Jamestown. From the left are Jamestown mayor Sam Teresi; Jackals general manager Kayla Crosby; CSHOF president Randy Anderson; and Jackals head coach Mark Anderson. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

The players on the roster include: Troy Taylor (University of Evansville); Carr (Buffalo State); Davonte Harris (Kalamazoo Valley CC and Adrian College); James Helton (Walters State CC and West Virginia State University); Mulamba (Southwestern Christian College, Colorado State University and Langston University); Austin Hamilton (Elon University and University of Essex); Chris Carter (Wake Tech CC and Long Island University-Brooklyn); DeAngelo Stewart (Alabama State, Northwest (Kansas) Tech and Purdue University-Fort Wayne); Cooper Nolte (Miami University-Middletown Campus); Smith (Jamestown CC and Alderson Broaddus University); Davenport (St. Bonaventure University); and Jay Dupree-Gibson (Anderson University, University of Southern Indiana).

“I’ve been doing this since 1987, and I’ve been coaching basketball since 1983 when I was in college as a camp counselor, so I’ve seen a lot of players, and I’ve assembled a lot of teams over that time,” Anderson said. “This was one of the more difficult cuts over the years, just because of the quality of individuals we had in camp.”

Mulamba and Davenport, who has been on every Jackals’ team since 2016, played the entire 2017-18 season with Jamestown, while Smith was added to the roster when the Jackals played for the NABL national championship in Dallas last summer.

“Our pace of play is going to be important,” Anderson said. “We’re going to get out and we’re going to run. … We’ve got a solid bench in case guys get hurt. The last two nights in our scrimmage, both teams have been equal. I think you’re going to see a lot of good basketball.”

The 32-game season — 16 at home and 16 on the road — runs through April 22 and includes trips to San Diego; Yakima, Washington; Mesquite, Nevada; Kansas City; Owensboro, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; Albany and Queens, New York.

“That is very unique,” Anderson said of the travel. “When we’re not playing, we have to be sure we take care of our bodies. It gives them an idea what the NBA does playing in a different city on a different night. That’s one of the things you have to get through at this level.”

When the team is not traveling, its responsibilities will extend beyond the hardwood and into the community, according to Jackals general manager Kayla Crosby. The endeavors will include, among others, collaborating on a mentoring program with the Gustavus Adolphus Home.

“We want to do more in the community and not just showing up and shooting hoops, but to talk to the youth, the adults and to have an impact in everyone’s lives,” she said. “That’s why we started the non-profit, #IntegrityFirst, to bring positive role models to the community. So far, we’ve done a good job, but this year we’re going to do a great job.”

To that end, Anderson said the team came up with an acronym — FAIRR — that stands for family, accountability, integrity, respect and responsibility.

“People might think I spelled it wrong, but I think they get the idea that means something to us,” he said. ” … I think we have a good group of guys who will represent Jamestown and the surrounding area well.”

SCHEDULE

Jan. 11 Albany 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 New York 3 p.m.

Jan. 18 at New York 7 p.m.

Jan. 20 San Diego 3 p.m.

Jan. 25 at Yakima 10:11 p.m.

Jan. 26 at San Diego 10:35 p.m.

Jan. 27 at Mesquite 6 p.m.

Feb. 1 at Albany 7 p.m.

Feb. 2 at Albany 7 p.m.

Feb. 9 New York 7 p.m.

Feb. 10 Mesquite 3 p.m.

Feb. 13 at Tampa 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 17 Albany 3 p.m.

Feb. 20 at New York 7 p.m.

Feb. 21 at New York 7 p.m.

Feb. 23 at Albany 4 p.m.

March 3 Albany 5 p.m.

March 9 at New York 7 p.m.

March 10 at New York 7 p.m.

March 15 Raleigh 7 p.m.

March 16 New York 7 p.m.

March 23 Albany 7 p.m.

March 24 Yakima 3 p.m.

March 29 New York 7 p.m.

March 31 San Diego 3 p.m.

April 1 New York 11 a.m.

April 2 Albany 11 a.m.

April 6 at Albany 7 p.m.

April 14 Mesquite 3 p.m.

April 18 at Owensboro 8 p.m.

April 19 at Kansas City 8 p.m.

April 22 at Albany 7 p.m.

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