Former Trojan Powell Makes Big Impression in TCC’s Basketball Jamboree
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
The action between Tallahassee Community College and State College of Florida seemed to slow down a bit, when Jahvaughn Powell pulled up with the ball along the baseline.
Powell took a few steps and found himself face-to-face with two defenders at least six inches taller than his 6-foot frame. He kept pushing until he got the ball off into the hands of teammate Austin Grimes around the perimeter.
Powell seemed fearless as he took on the entire front court of State College.
“It was just trusting preparation and what we do every day in practice,” said Powell, a graduate of Lincoln High School who is in his second season as an Eagle. “When you know a teammate is open you just have to do what you can to help. My worry was just about getting the ball to him.”
Grimes hit the jump shot for two of the eight points that the Eagles scored during a run in the exhibition game. It was the TCC’s final appearance in the Southeastern Jamboree, a two day event that brought more than 40 men’s and women’s junior colleges to the Eagledome for two days.
The Eagles beat State college 59-48 to run through the jamboree without a loss in three games.
The two-day weekend jamboree provided a perfect opportunity for Powell to showcase his talent in a live game. He made quite an impression on first-year head coach Mark White.
“He is a great defender,” said White. “There is no telling how many steals he had today. He has great basketball IQ on the defensive end. He is so good at reading things. I was really, really pleased.”
Powell’s defensive skills were especially obvious after he made his second trip to the floor midway through the second half. He took a steal at midcourt and went downcourt uncontested for a lay-up.
He’d been making plays like that for Lincoln High School before choosing TCC over other junior colleges that showed interest in him. He opted for the junior college route, Powell said, so that he could develop his game for a four-year program.
“I’ve learned a lot here so when I get to a four-year school I will be a lot wiser about things and know a lot more than I knew coming out of high school,” he said.
And there is another reason he decided to play for a school in his hometown.
“I like playing in front of my friends, family,” he said. “It actually makes me play better; seeing my loved ones and people I know in the stand.”
Last season, Powell made five starts at point guard. His role in White’s system could also include being a shooting guard.
But it’s his play at running the point that White said he’ll be counting on most. Powell will share the point guard duty with Rashard Lewis and Daishon Smith, White said.
“Our point guard play is going to be at the top overall, with our depth,” he said “That’s going to be one of our strengths.
“We are not the kind of team that’s big and physical so we are not the type to throw it inside to our big guys; in there banging and sealing the post and doing all kinds of stuff.”