Kassandra

Mar 23

Jared Jeffries -- Did You Know?

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers
   
The game of basketball comes with it a myriad of individual and team honors. Seriously, there are a plethora of them.

Each level has multitude of honors for most valuable player, most improved, best defender and so on. From high school to college to the pros, there seems to be an honor for everything. Of course, this is no news to anyone. In fact, I would be willing to say that our own Portland Trail Blazers players have several such honors of their own.

But ... did you know?

The state of Indiana is notorious for being a huge basketball state. One could even argue that Indiana's love for basketball could rival Texas' love for football. Even the casual viewer of the film Hoosiers can see the intensity, emotion and pure love the people of Indiana share for the game and their teams. It goes ever far back. The inception of the basketball program at the University of Indiana took place in 1900. As early as the third season of the NBA in 1948-49, not one -- but two -- of the NBA's 12 teams were located in Indiana (Fort Wayne Pistons and Indianapolis Jets).

In short, Indiana loves their basketball like Portland loves its Blazers.

Jared blocks Maryland's Lonny Baxter in the final of the 2002 NCAA tournament.

Perhaps it's only natural Jared Jeffries grew into the savvy NBA veteran that he is. The Bloomington, Indiana native not only went to high school at Bloomington North, he was honored as Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2000.

Simply put, the Indiana Mr. Basketball award honors the best high school player in the state.

Jared took his talents to the University of Indiana before hitting the NBA with the Wizards, Knicks (twice), Rockets and Blazers. He also was honored as Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference by the Chicago Tribune in 2002. Jared's high school teammate, Sean May, won the honor in 2002.

Incidentally, he's not the only Indiana Mr. Basketball to don a Blazers jersey. Former Blazers center Greg Oden won the honor in 2005 while playing for Lawrence North High School prior to attending Ohio St.

Jared and LaMarcus Aldridge enjoy a light-hearted moment earlier this season.

In fact, some other very notable NBA players have come from Indiana Mr. Basketball lore;Oscar Robertson, Glenn Robinson and Eric Gordon -- and many others -- have also won the honor.

Jared is in his 11th year in the league. He's a role player and, at this point in his career, a teacher and mentor. He seems to be enjoying himself, as fans may see him smiling more than any other Blazer this year. And why not? Obviously, Indiana's Mr. Basketball loves the game as much as his native Indianans do.

Now ... you know.

~ KMM

"-- Did You Know" will appear in this blog on a semi-regular basis throughout the sesason, centering on Blazers players and coaches. In Kassandra's Words, features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass
      

5 Comments

  1. I thank you for the Blog and the info Miss Kassandra!!!

    I knew that Jared had fame in his youth because I hear announcers talk about him, but I did not know he was Mr Basketball from Indiana.

    Did you know Matthews dad played for Atlanta, which may have been part of the reason for his great performance against Atlanta Friday night?

    by Hg on 3/24/2013 7:59 AM
  2. I had to laugh early in the season when after a practice LaMarcus was interviewed and when asked about Jeffries ability to take charges so efficiently, LaMarcus deadpanned, " He has to because he can't jump" I know Jeffries has endeared himself to the coaching staff and his teammates but honestly, I think we need to upgrade his position over the offseason. He's not a very good shooter and not a very good rebounder at this point in his career although he is a very smart defender if he can keep in front of his man. Well researched blog as usual Kass! I spent my 16th summer in Indiana playing pick up ball with my cousins and Indiana is all about basketball.

    by riverman on 3/24/2013 8:57 AM
  3. I really like Jeffries and have really appreciated him this season. It's hard to say what his position will be with the team moving forward. He's still got two years left, and young teams always need high character vets. However, he's not getting any PT and has lost time throughout these weeks since the All Star break. Wherever Mr. Basketball ends up I can promise two things: Jeffries will smile and take a charge!

    by BlazerStache on 3/25/2013 7:50 PM
  4. @Hg: it was fun to dig up that little morsel if information on Jared. i like his attitude and love that he's a team guy. i did know that about Wesley's dad, as i've already done some research on a blog about Wesley which i've yet to post!

    @riverman: i love to hear the guys joke about each other, but even with what LaMarcus said, i think we can read between some lines and see some respect there. Jared knows his role and he's done the best he can with it.

    @BlazerStache: i really don't have a clue as to what we're going to do with Jared. i think it's possible we keep him as a veteran presence, but also possible we waive or trade him. i do like his veteran presence on this team though.

    by Kassandra on 3/31/2013 5:31 PM
  5. Very nice! Thank you Kassandra! I am such a fan of his. Sad to see him leave, but i will follow him :)

    by Kim Thrasher on 4/18/2013 1:04 PM
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