Welcome to the first of a regular series of blogs chronicling the sophomore season of former Springfield Gardens standout and current Hofstra University basketball star, Charles Jenkins.
For readers of the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star Newspaper Network, Jenkins represents both Brooklyn and Queens, having been born in Brownsville and raised there until the age of 6, before later moving to Springfield Gardens, where he started getting noticed as a talent on the court.
Making a smooth transition from high school to Division I college hoops, the strong, 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jenkins, showing the ability to score whether slashing his way through the paint or with a nice outside touch, has already begun to make his mark at Hofstra and in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Following the back-to-back team MVP awards he received while leading Springfield Gardens to a 43-8 record over his final two high school seasons, Jenkins debuted at Hofstra last season by scoring in double figures in 27 of 29 games, averaging 15.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, en route to earning the CAA Rookie Of The Year Award.
Although Jenkins' freshman season at Hofstra was a personal success, the Pride struggled to a 12-18 record last year after three straight 20-win seasons which all included NIT berths (the last of which, Jenkins redshirted while watching and learning during the senior season of former Hofstra star Loren Stokes, who now plays professionally in Italy after short stints in Cyprus and Belgium).
The subsequent graduation of Hofstra's all-time scoring leader, Huntington Station's Antoine Agudio, after last season, passes the torch to Jenkins as Hofstra's newest go-to guy.
As if the adjustment from high school to the number two offensive option wasn't enough during his freshman year, Jenkins now faces an even more challenging role as a sophomore, as he transforms from last year's apprentice under Agudio (who is playing professionally in Turkey) to now, leading last year's carry-overs plus three new JUCO transfers in trying to turn Hofstra around this season.
Check here throughout the 2008-09 season for game recaps, and insights from Jenkins, his teammates, and Hofstra's Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Pecora, as I gain access to the story behind the story of a blossoming former Queens high school star on the local Division I college basketball scene.