By Tyler McCord, Staff Writer
Charles Jenkins does not have the NBA experience that Speedy Claxton does, or the rebounding records that Bill Thieben holds, but Jenkins holds a distinction none of his athletic predecessors at Hofstra do. Jenkins, a current guard on the Hofstra men's basketball team, will be the first Hofstra athlete to have his jersey retired while still wearing it.
On Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 1:40 P.M. the senior guard out of Springfield Gardens High School in nearby Queens, NY will have his no. 22 added to the elite group of Hofstra's retired numbers raised from the rafters before the Pride's game against Delaware. "I'm definitely surprised," said Jenkins. "I didn't think it would happen so soon."
On top of Hofstra raising his jersey to the rafters and 4,000 white t-shirts with "#22" on the front of them, the Pride's three seniors – Jenkins, forward Greg Washington and guard Brad Kelleher – will be honored for senior night. "It's a bittersweet feeling," Jenkins said. "But it's another opportunity to play ball."
But where does Jenkins see himself among the other players with jerseys in the rafters? "To see my name next to Speedy's and to separate myself [from other players] means a lot to me," Jenkins said. "It shows me how hard I've worked." Hofstra's head coach Mo Cassara put it in perspective for Jenkins, who wears 22 for his late brother Kareem. "Coach Mo said to me ‘now you know your brother's watching down on you.'"
Jenkins has come a long way since his arrival to Hempstead as a freshman. "I came a 17 year-old boy and left a 22 year-old man," he said.
After red-shirting his first year, Jenkins averaged 15.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in his freshman season, playing alongside Antoine Agudio, the previous Hofstra scoring record holder before Jenkins broke his mark.
At the tail end of his college basketball days Jenkins has amassed awards, records, and statistics that no other Hofstra basketball player has achieved. Jenkins has collected hardware such as the 2008 CAA Rookie of the Year, two Haggerty Awards as the best basketball player in the New York Metropolitan Area, two time First-Team All CAA selections (2009, 2010), and 2010 CAA Player of the Year with another anticipated CAA Player of the Year on the horizon. Not to mention he broke Agudio's all-time points record on Jan. 29 against Drexel University and is currently hanging onto 2,438; which puts the 6'3", 220 lbs guard in second place on the CAA's all-time scoring list trailing only Navy's David "The Admiral" Robinson. Jenkins currently ranks sixth in the nation in points per game with 23.3 and his 4.8 assists per game are a career-high. Not to mention he is shooting 52.8 percent from the field.
The most important statistic of all for Jenkins is that his Pride (19-10, 13-4 CAA) earned a first-round bye in the CAA Tournament on March 5 in Richmond, VA.