Jenkins trying to prove doubters wrong

FILE - Charles Jenkins #22 of the Hofstra FILE - Charles Jenkins #22 of the Hofstra Pride celebrates after hitting the game winning three pointer at the buzzer of overtime against the William & Mary Tribe. (Feb. 15, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Charles Jenkins is back to proving himself, if there were ever a time Hofstra's all-time leading scorer hasn't needed to prove himself.

So his workout for the Knicks Thursday at the MSG Training Center is nothing new. The 6-3 guard was part of a group that included Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert and Florida State forward Chris Singleton, who both have higher profiles and higher projections in the June 23 draft.

Much like his under-recruitment out of Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, when he was a scrawny 17-year-old, auditioning for NBA coaches and general managers is another chance to prove people wrong.

"It's big for me to get in front of some coaches and show them I can play," Jenkins said. "There's always doubts about the conference that I played in, so it's good to get out there against some top guys, and I think I did pretty good."

Jenkins is fresh off winning the Haggerty Award for the best player in the New York area for the third time -- only Chris Mullin and Jim McMillian have done that -- and having his No. 22 retired by his school.

And now it's the cross-country workout tour. "San Antonio, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, Denver and Chicago," Jenkins said, listing his previous workouts. "Next week, Charlotte, Indiana and Dallas, and a couple other dates to play with, maybe five or six more.

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"I'm always going to take advantage of every opportunity I get. There's so many people in the world that want to play professional basketball and don't even get an opportunity to put a jersey on and compete in front of GMs, so it's definitely a dream come true for me."

Jenkins spoke Thursday about his 11-year-old niece, Kemoni Albritton, and how he wants to provide for her -- Jenkins' older brother, Kareem, was murdered in Brooklyn a decade ago and Jenkins has had a goal for Kemoni ever since.

"Every time I step on the floor, I always have like a bad thought in my head of her not eating," he said. "This is motivation for me to get her her own bank account, so she can have some of her own money."

And for Jenkins, who cited three players from the Colonial Athletic Association (Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders out of VCU and J.J. Barea from Northeastern) who were on NBA rosters this past season, to go from low-profile Hofstra to being an NBA draft pick is big motivation.

"My school is in a little conference, and we weren't in the tournament, the Cinderella story -- we flew under the radar," he said. "Any opportunity I have to get out and compete against the top guys, I have to show that I can."

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