Jeremy Arthur wants it to be his time at Kellenberg

Kellenberg's Jeremy Arthur (11) drives the baseline ahead

Kellenberg's Jeremy Arthur (11) drives the baseline ahead of Xavier's Jason Pretto (25) in the second half. (Jan. 28, 2012) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Jeremy Arthur takes a look around the basketball court at Kellenberg High School.

There's the paint that he slashes through.

There's the three-point line that he camps behind.

Oh, and there's the stands that he used to sleep in.

Flashback to when Arthur was in middle school: His mother worked late and his older brother Adam, a center on the Firebirds varsity basketball team, had practice from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weeknights. Rather than go home alone, Arthur would stay at the school straight through practice.

He'd do his homework in the gym during the junior varsity or girls varsity practice. Later, during his brother's practice, when the team and coaching staff served as unofficial babysitters, Arthur would watch from the stands. During the more than 12 hours at the school, he'd often nod off.

"The hours were crazy but I loved being around basketball so I didn't mind," Arthur said. "I was young back then and I would fall asleep wherever I was comfortable, and that just happened to be in the stands."

But now he is most comfortable on the court. And those defenders who have to guard him are in for a rude awakening.

Last season, Arthur -- who averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game -- helped lead Kellenberg to its first regular-season league title in the program's 25-year history. But the top-seeded Firebirds were upset in a semifinal and denied entry into the CHSAA championship game. It's a destination they've reached only once, in 2009, when his brother Adam was a senior captain on the team.

"I want to finish what my brother started and then make my own tracks," Arthur said. "My brother got to the door when he was a senior, I want to get through it."

He has the tools to knock that door down. With the skill set of a guard and the size of a forward, senior 6-3, 205-pound Arthur is essentially positionless. He brings the ball up the court like a point guard. He knocks down the outside shot like a shooting guard. He slashes through the lane and gets to the rim like a small forward. He crashes the boards like a power forward.

"He does a little bit of everything," Kellenberg coach Jack McCutcheon said. "I expect big things from him and he expects big things from himself. We'll go as far as he takes us."

He'll get help from 6-10 center Bryan Gellineau and a backcourt that includes shooting guard Rich Ragusa, an outside threat, and point guard Ed Stuart, a lockdown defender. But Arthur is the focal point, which is a role he's been waiting for.

He thinks back to those long nights in the stands at the gym, as he watched his brother's team prepare for its championship run . . . before he caught some shuteye, of course.

"I knew then I wanted that for myself when I got to that age," Arthur said. "I was always looking forward to doing big things when it was my time here."

His time has come, and now he's wide awake.

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