Last season, the Slingers struggled on rebounds. In comes Rashad Jones-Jennings – 6’8 forward with a 7-foot wing-span – to the rescue.
Thus far, in this season, he has proven his worth, leading the Slingers this season to become the best rebounding team in the league with 40.5 per game.
Jones-Jennings is himself averaging 16.0 per game, with a mere 0.2 separating him from Christien Charles, the current league-leader in the rebounding category.
In the previous game against the Saigon Heat alone, Jones-Jennings recorded his season-high in rebounds with 23. That was just 3 rebounds shy of what the entire Saigon Heat collected in the game.
But Jones-Jennings has proven that he can do much more than rebounding. After a slow start on his offence in the first 4 games of the season, Jones-Jennings has picked it up and averaged 21.5 points in the last two games. But his real contribution to the team is in the intangibles. His energy on the boards, his hustle for loose-balls are so influential that it is getting into the Slingers’ guards as well. It has given birth to players like the 205lbs Mitchell Folkoff, who is like the guard-version of Jones-Jennings on the team. (If Jones-Jennings is Big Mr Hustle, Mitchell Folkoff is definitely Lil. Mr Hustle). With so much hustle out there, little wonder why the Slingers are the league-leaders in rebounds.
But it’s Rashad Jones-Jennings that we got to catch up with. We asked him about stuff ranging from his favourite players to goals for the team to how he feels being the only Slinger so far with 24 points and 23 rebounds.
SN: Hi Rashad, welcome to Singapore and the Singapore Slingers team! You have been somewhat of a journeyman, and now you are in here. How has it been so far?
RJJ: I wouldnt say that I am a journeyman. I’ve played all over because I go where the money is…can’t blame me for that? Besides teams rarely if ever sign players to multi year deals…
SN: I always like to start by asking this question: Who is your favourite basketball player? And who do you model your game after?
RJJ: My favorite players are Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman. I watch old clips of them alot.. We have the same mentalities.
SN: Quite true. You played in many different leagues. Could you share how this league, in your opinion, is different from the other leagues you played in, like in Europe or Taiwan?
RJJ: The league here is no different than Europe or S. America or Taiwan. Other than the refs being clueless of the rules here. Everything else is just another day at the office…
SN: You have played 6 games with the Slingers. What are your impressions of this team so far?
RJJ: My impressions of the team so far is that we will get better as the year goes on. Hopefully we can get a string of wins going here soon.
SN: Well…what are some of the expectations you have for yourself this season?
RJJ: I just want to win. I want a championship. Thats all that matters to me. I never set personal goals.
SN: The Slingers are currently at 3-3. How do you think your team will fare for the rest of the season?
RJJ: I want to win every game. I hope we do. So I guess those are my expectations. Probably unrealistic but realistic breeds mediocrity…
SN: Now, we all know you can rebound. But what are some of your other roles for this team?
RJJ: My other roles of the team is to help them win by any means.
SN: Well, in your opinion, which team in the ABL would be most difficult for the Slingers to beat?
SN: You know, you just broke a Singapore Slingers record with one of the best performances of 24 points and 23 rebounds. How does that make you feel?
RJJ: I didnt feel any certain type of way actually. Not to sound brash, but I’ve been breaking records for a long time now. No one has written me a check for them yet so its good to tell my grandkids, but I don’t get caught up in the paper stats. I want championships.
SN: Say something to Slingers fans.
RJJ: Support us when we are winning as well as when we lose. Support us when we struggle as well as when we play well. Those are real and true fans. I hope we keep bringing wins back but regardless of the outcome we will play hard… I will see you all Sunday. Thanks for your support.
Rashad Jones-Jennings and the Singapore Slingers take on the Saigon Heat at Tan Binh Stadium on Friday, 22 February before flying back home to take on the San Miguel Beermen at home on 24 February. Tickets to the home game are available at all SISTIC outlets.
Slingers fans, let’s get behind our team!
Written by: Wy C
-Photo Credits to ABL-
Watch Jones-Jennings big night here on youtube: