Charles Jenkins went out in style on his homecourt on Saturday afternoon, and so did the Hofstra Pride in a 79-60 win over Delaware.
Jenkins was his usual efficient self, pouring in 21 points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals in front of another packed house at the Mack Sports Complex.
He had help as four other players scored in double figures, but the day was his.
It was a day that he had his jersey, No.22, retired. It was a day that he stamped himself in the annals of Hofstra history. Oh, his history was already established. But getting your jersey retired when you’re an active player? That’s an entirely different story.
It's the first time Hofstra has done it. Duke has done it and Wake Forest did it for Tim Duncan.
It clearly affected Jenkins, who was overcome with emotion when he left the game for the final time in the fourth quarter. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous,” Jenkins said after the game.
His teammates, particularly fellow senior Greg Washington, had nothing but kind for words for the Queens product.
“I'm proud of him,'' said Washington. “I don't think any other person could do what he did, and how he did it. He earned every bit of respect from this league and the nation and the basketball world.”
The numbers don’t do Jenkins justice. He has a Hofstra record 2,463 points, 187 more than the previous record holder Antoine Agudio and more than any other active player in the country.
“He's more than just a basketball player,” Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. “That's why his number deserves to be in the rafters now.”
Now for the next and most obvious question guarding Jenkins. And the 5,050 Hofstra fans who packed the house didn't need any prompting. The chant "N-B-A, N-B-A" was heard throughout the building early and often.
So what about it? Is Jenkins an NBA player?
One NBA western conference is convinced.
“He’s going to be drafted, or at least he should be,” said the scout, who asked for anonymity. “He handles the ball well enough and has a great mid-range game.”
Standing 6-2, his height could be an issue if he asked to be a full-time shooting guard. But his overall skill set is more than enough to give him a look or even get him drafted, one eastern conference scout thinks.
“He played himself into the draft,” said the eastern conference scout. “It all depends on what a team may need in the second round.”