This season will be a historic one for the Ryerson men’s basketball team as it hosts its first national championship in school history, but also because it marks the final season for Rams great Jahmal Jones.
Jones has amassed many individual honours while playing for the Rams, including Ryerson’s male athlete of the year, rookie of the year and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) first-team all-star. He’s also played for team Canada at the Pan Am Games.
Although Jones has an impressive list of accomplishments during his time at Ryerson, he says there is one more thing to add.
“I want to win a championship,” he said. “I’ve had my share of individual awards and it’s been a goal of mine and my teammates to win it all.”
Fellow fifth-year player Bjorn Michaelsen agrees there would be no better way to end their Ryerson careers.
“We’re really lucky to host nationals in our senior year,” he says. “Not many people get to do that and it would be amazing to win it,” said Michaelsen.
Jones enters the season as Ryerson’s second all-time leading scorer but said he tries not to think about the opportunity to become the all-time leader.
“That’s in the future and I’m focused on what I need to do now to help the team.”
Jones said he doesn’t like to get distracted by the future and possible milestones, admitting he didn’t know he had moved into second in Ryerson scoring until it was announced, but reveals he thinks about holding the record at times.
“If you had asked me in my first year I would think about it more, but I wasn’t sure how school and basketball would go,” he said. “So I’m just thankful to have an opportunity (to break the record) because it would be something nice to share with my family and teammates who made it possible.”
Men’s basketball assistant coach Patrick Tatham said Jones is critical to the team’s success.
“Jahmal is a great player for us. He sets an example for the rest of the team with his effort on both ends of the floor and understands the game well as a point guard.”
Tatham also said Jones’s experience means he has the trust of the coaching staff and his teammates to play in any situation.
Jones is off to a strong start in his final season, pouring in 17 and 24 points versus Waterloo and Laurier, respectively. He also tied the all-time Rams’ assist record with 15 against the Windsor Lancers on Saturday.