Monday afternoon, 2017 Carson High grad Jayden DeJoseph got a chance to come back to town with current squad, the William Jessup Warriors.
The Warriors didn’t quite pull into Carson City, but took on the Nevada Wolf Pack in a scheduled exhibition contest.
For DeJoseph, it was the first time playing in Lawlor since his days donning the Senator royal blue and white.
“It’s definitely kind of surreal playing at UNR. Growing up, I idolized a lot of the players there,” said DeJoseph. “Javale McGee, Ramon Sessions, those are like all the classical guys.”
DeJoseph tied for a team-high 14 points against the Wolf Pack on 5-of-14 shooting with four rebounds.
“It was an eye-opening experience to say the least,” DeJoseph said.
Across the world, 2020 has been overwhelming to say the least.
William Jessup — located in Rocklin, California — is about two hours from home for DeJoseph, but not having his family cheering him on at games has been a new experience for the redshirt junior.
“It’s been a struggle for me to just come home and visit them. Typically, it's a perfect location,” said DeJoseph. “I do miss having their voices in my head and them telling me to focus on every shot. … It’s different and I’m adjusting to it, but it’s been a little harder to find my rhythm this year.”
A two-time all-state selection in high school, Dejoseph’s ability to notice his own struggles this season speaks, in part, to his growth as a player over his four years with the Warriors.
It’s also worth noting William Jessup has been competing against Division I opponents as opposed to NAIA-level schools.
Even in losses against Fresno State and UC Irvine, DeJoseph managed point totals of 15 and 14, respectively, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor in both games.
The tougher competition has pushed the Warriors too, who will enter Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) play in mid-January.
“Going up against these top-tier teams, we should be able to handle teams in our conference,” DeJoseph said.
A self-described perimeter scorer and slasher, the 6-foot-6 Warrior says his defensive prowess has grown with each season.
“I’m more of an offensive player. I’ve been working on my defensive lateral quickness and using my length to my best ability too,” DeJoseph said. “I haven’t really been able to defend at the D-I level and this year I finally able to contend and defend against these top players, I feel like.”
Though finding places to shoot this offseason and working out in his home garage, DeJoseph added that he has enjoyed his time at William Jessup.
“Jessup has been a dream come true. I’ve found friends here I’ve been able to cherish for a lifetime. The whole community is full of students and staff that are supportive and just good people.”
With the next three contests on the slate canceled, DeJoseph and William Jessup will return to action Dec. 29 at the University of Pacific.