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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
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The Newest Warrior

Charles Jenkins, Hofstra University’s all-time leading men’s basketball team scorer, is taking his talents to the Bay Area following his selection last week by the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) draft.

The 22-year-old Jenkins, who played his high school ball in Queens, is now in a position to play under another native New Yorker, newly-appointed Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson was a standout at St. John’s University in the mid-1980s and went on to have a successful NBA career after being the New York Knicks’ first-round draft selection in 1987.

A media consensus had emerged prior to the 2011 NBA draft that Jenkins would be taken in the first round but all 30 NBA teams took a pass on him when making their initial choice. Jenkins, who had twice been named the Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) player of the year, was eventually chosen in the draft’s second round, the 44th player selected overall.

“We were glad to see Charles Jenkins still available when our pick came around at #44,” said Larry Riley, Warriors general manager and executive vice president, basketball operations, in a statement released to the media. “He has good size for a point guard and has shown that he can get to the basket and that he can score. He is going to have an opportunity here.”

Ethan Norof, a columnist with The Bleacher Report’s San Francisco Bay edition, a sports website, was effusive in his praise of the Warriors’ Jenkins pick.

“The Warriors steal [Charles] Jenkins in the middle of the second round and come out of this draft with excellent additions to their club,“ wrote Norof. “Golden State is clearly looking to stretch the floor under new coach Mark Jackson, and both [first round draft pick Klay] Thompson and Jenkins will allow them to do exactly that.“

Left unmentioned in Norof’s brief analysis was that Thompson, who comes out of Washington State, and Jenkins, both of whom are guards, were chosen to join a Golden State team which already has two talented players who also play that position, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Published reports have emerged in recent weeks that the Warriors are looking to trade Ellis. Curry, who is only 23 years old, had surgery on an oft-injured ankle in May 2011. Both developments may explain why the Warriors were in the market for backcourt players.

Still, for Jenkins’ many Long Island fans, who are accustomed to watching him at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, it’ll be difficult to see Jenkins in person when he’s in the NBA. The Warriors make infrequent visits to the East Coast.

One organization which stands to benefit from Jenkins’ move to northern California is the Hofstra alumni/ae’s San Francisco regional chapter, one of 13 the institution has established nationwide. They can build a memorable Hofstra Pride reception out of a trip to a Warriors game one of these days. The Warriors play in Oakland’s Oracle Arena, which is a 20-minute trip on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system from downtown San Francisco.

 

Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net