Huskies men’s basketball guard wins OCAA Athlete of the Week Award
Averaging 21 points per game is not an easy feat in any league, particularly in the Ontario College Athletics Association (OCAA). But Dejazmatch James is doing just that.
Due to his stellar play, James has earned OCAA Athlete of the Week honours. James scored 31 points and added 11 rebounds in a win against Centennial, followed by 15 points and 9 rebounds in another win against Canadore.
James never takes any days off. He learned at an early age to not take the opportunities he has for granted and to work at being a better player and a better person.
“It happened back when I was a kid. My older brother got shot in his leg while also being one of the top players in the county and through that I learned that that the right decisions can help to keep me focused,” said James. “Since that day, my mindset has been that if I am going to play tomorrow, I will do what I have to do today to be the best person that I can be.”
Today, James is the Huskies’ fearless “commander” earning the nickname from his teammates.
James has been playing basketball since a young age. Yet, it was only clear in grade 11 that he was ready to play competitively.
“I have been playing basketball since I was a kid, but I only started taking it seriously in Grade 11. I remember I was a junior in Grade 10, when I used to be a fat kid, my coach said that I needed to slim down or I wouldn’t see any playing time,” he said. “After his comments as I started putting in more effort, and everything just fell into place.”
James garnered a one-month tour in Europe to compete professionally in England, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Through those exhibition games his knowledge of the fundamentals of basketball further evolved and his commitment to the sport grew without limits.
In spite of his relaxed demeanor, James keeps his teammates engaged during practice, and he admits there are moments when he can get on their nerves. But that does not stop him from pushing them to be their best out on the court.
“Our chemistry is building off of the court, but I feel that the more I hang out with them, the more our connection with each other on the court will grow,” said James. “For some reason there is a very strong connection there when we are a tight knit group, and it helps me get familiar with my teammates during games even more.”