After being a passionate soccer player for most of his youth, Co-Captain Jason Reynolds ’18 picked up basketball at age 13 with a desire to try something new. The sport quickly grew on him because it allowed him to connect with other kids in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C.
“I have been playing basketball for five years now, and I really started when my family moved to Charlotte, and I tried out for my new school’s team. I enjoyed it because it was a great way to hang out with all of my friends, playing streetball together in our backyards all the time,” said Reynolds.
When Reynolds arrived at Andover his Junior year, he started playing on JV1. He was then selected for Varsity in his Lower year and has since developed a greater understanding of the Andover basketball program. Encapsulating the values of the Andover Basketball program is one of his goals this season as a leader on the team.
“What I think I bring to the table is a ton of experience with Andover basketball, and I want to use that experience to help the team. I want to try and inspire the team by being as uplifting as possible, as we have had problems with attitudes in the past,” said Reynolds.
Sahil Tekchandani ’19 said, “Jason helps the team in a bunch of different ways. He brings a couple years of varsity basketball experience and a strong knowledge of the game.”
According to Jackson Emus ’19 and Akshay Mundra ’18, Reynolds consistently devotes himself to supporting the team, even when he has been unable to play due to injury.
Emus said, “I would say that he sets a precedent through his upbeat attitude even when he is off the court. He’s very personable and approachable, which makes it easy to work with him and be around him every day… He still comes to every road game, film session, and practice despite being injured. In this way he does a good job of holding everyone accountable for being on time to practice and still participating in being part of the team.”
Mundra added, “Jason is a great player and an especially tenacious defender, but I think his impact on our team off the court is even more significant. He’s consistently a source of energy and encouragement… I always talk to him during the game to pick his brain on what he’s seeing. Whether it’s game day or just a shoot around, we can rely on him to pick us up when we need it.”
According to Mundra and Matteo Whelton ’20, Reynolds is also a role model for his teammates because of his unwavering effort and intensity on the court.
Mundra said, “Jason definitely leads by example. You can tell by the way approaches the game that he loves to play, and his passion is contagious. He’s not afraid to get in someone’s face when they’re not up to par, but he’ll always make sure to end on a positive note.”
Whelton added, “Jason is always at practice on time and never complaining. He’s the epitome of a team player. Never puts himself above the team and always keeps the team first.”
Another aspect of Reynolds’s persona is his lightheartedness and humor, critical for his leadership approach, according to Reynolds and Whelton.
Reynolds said, “I basically try to help them by being as positive as I can, and I turn to humor to do this. If the team is happy, I am happy. If they are laughing, I know I’m doing a good job.”
Whelton said, “As a person, Jason is as good as they come. He’s funny, intelligent, and charismatic. When I was introduced to him at the beginning of the year I could tell right off the bat how well he carries himself and how much he cares about the team.”
This season, Reynolds is joined by Lower Dallion Johnson ’20 as Co-Captains, and the two work together with ease, according to Reynolds.
Reynolds said, “It is a perfect dynamic. It’s a blend of someone with experience on the team that understands how [Head Coach Terrell Ivory ‘00] works as a coach and who is good working with a lot of people, and you have Dallion who is a strong and silent type who leads by example and is one of the best players on the team. The combo of experience and raw talent blends together well.”
Reynolds has high hopes for the team this year and hopes his Senior year can be his best yet.
“I’m hoping for a winning season. I want to beat Exeter. I want the shining Nepsac trophy to be sitting on my desk,” said Reynolds.