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‘I Feel Blessed’

Jackals Set Record With Home Opener Attendance

Jamestown Jackal’s No. 30 Josh Dominguez, a Jackal’s team captain and native of Charlotte, N.C. poses for a picture with Washington Middle School, eight grader, Levi Blakeslee, after the Jackals beat the Tri-State Admirals at their home opener Sunday, at Jamestown Community College.

The Jamestown Jackals hosted their first home opener game of their season by earning a win on and off the court, setting a team attendance record for Sunday’s game.

“We had a record breaking, season opener for game attendance,” said Kayla Crosby, Jackals owner. “We had more than 1,000 individuals in attendance, we had to pull out the bleachers on the upper track to make sure we had enough seating.”

While this is a professional men’s basketball team, whose players are recruited right out of college, the large crowd in attendance did not seem to affect the newer players, according to Jackal’s officials.

“This is a talented group of players, some who’ve played pro ball before and have college-level playing experience,” said Raheem Singleton, head coach of the Jackals and a former player himself. “We brief our guys that our fan base, at times, can get a little vocal, and for some in our mentorship program and to many of the kids who attend our games, our players can become role models or heroes to them.”

The responsibility and gravity of playing the dual role of athlete and mentor is not lost on some of the Jackals. In fact, some of the team members actually look at it as a badge of honor and a privilege to be held in such high regards.

The Jamestown Jackals played their season home opening game against the Tri-State Admirals Sunday at Jamestown Community College’s Physical Education Complex. More than 1000 people attended this game and shattered all previous records for both home openers and game attendance. Submitted photos

“I feel blessed to be able to be a positive role model for some of the local kids,” said BJ Williams IV, a member of the Jamestown Jackals and native of Youngstown, Ohio. “To be able to take something I love doing – like playing basketball – and to use that to help mold and lead some of the youth is a great responsibility and privilege.”

Moreover, within the roughly nine years, Crosby has structured her organization to be a leading advocate and support for local area children deemed at-risk or underprivileged.

“We are much more than just a basketball team. We provide a mentorship program for our local school systems; conduct several basketball clinics and youth engagement activities; assist many non-for-profits; so, it is not as simple as paying the team to just play ball,” she said. “We ask a lot of our guys, both on and off the court. Yes, they are all great and talented basketball players, but they are also great human beings too.”

These multipurpose roles the team has taken on and the concepts of leadership and mentorship are something coach Radio also appears to have endorsed.

“After each game I’m out here signing autographs too,” said Radio. “This is part of being on this team. Our fans pay to see us play and we want to be accessible to them, both on and off the court.”

One of the Jackals team captains and returning Jackals veteran said he prepared some of the new guys about the “extras” the community of supporters has come to expect from this team.

“I let all of the new guys know that we sign autographs, take pictures and take part in a lot of the community events,” said Josh Dominguez, a Jackals’ team captain and native of Charlotte, N.C. “We’re part of this community.”

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