Kent County High senior guard JayShaun Freeman has committed to play basketball at Chesapeake College.
Freeman, the 2018-19 North Bayside Player of the Year, signed his letter of intent in April. Chesapeake head coach Andrew Sachs emphasized in messages over Twitter that Freeman is ‘a great kid.’
Sachs was a big reason why Freeman chose the Skipjacks.
“It just felt like the best fit,” Freeman said. “Coach Sachs was the only head coach ever to come out to the high school and talk to me. That was a big thing for me. He really was interested in me and he really wanted me.”
Freeman’s recruitment process was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Chesapeake, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Catawba (S.C.) College were recruiting him heavily. But the pandemic may have limited other opportunities, and the other schools backed off a bit during the pandemic.
Staying local was never a priority for Freeman — he just wanted the right fit.
The end result, Kent County head coach Sobaye Scott feels, is Chesapeake getting a very talented player.
“I think Chesapeake got a steal,” Scott said. “And I’m pretty sure any other coach in the Bayside would say ‘They really got a steal.’ He’s definitely a D-I talent, whether it’s mid-major or high-major. He can compete with any level. He has all the aspects of the game. Mid-range, he can shoot the long ball, he can score off the dribble, he’s a good facilitator, as well as a good team player. Any level of competition, he would be able to fit in with any program.”
Freeman was a first team All-North Bayside selection as a senior this season. He missed more than half the season with various injuries. But once he returned, he resumed his dominance, averaging 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals per game. Kent County suffered a first-round playoff exit, but the Trojans’ season would’ve looked entirely different had Freeman been healthy all year.
Going through those injuries gave Freeman a different perspective on the game, which could be valuable when playing at the next level.
“It’s a lot more than just playing the game,” Freeman said. “I got to actually watch more film on myself. I got to watch film on my teammates. I was helping them out throughout the season, showing them what they were doing wrong and what they’re doing good. It’s two different perspectives, being on the floor and playing.”
Freeman won’t be the only Trojan presence with Chesapeake basketball next season. Skipjacks assistant Rockeem Harris is a Kent County alum — Harris was Kent’s first-ever 1,000-point scorer.
“(Harris) probably gave him some great insight as far as ‘It ain’t where you start, it’s where you finish,’” Scott said. “I think that could’ve been a contributing factor, especially with the pandemic going on.”
Freeman joins a group of what Scott estimated to be around 7-8 players to go from Kent County to playing college basketball. The most notable member of that group is Manny Camper, a 2017 graduate who excelled at Division I Siena and is entering the 2020 NBA Draft.
Camper and Freeman were teammates at Kent for two seasons, which greatly benefitted Freeman.
“JayShaun was a pup when Manny and them was playing. He was a sophomore Manny’s senior year. So he got to witness Manny playing,” Scott said. “To have two (high) caliber kids like that — at any given time they could score 30 points — it’s unimaginable. You don’t get gifts like that. To credit both of their work ethics, the energy that they brought to practice. Even on the floor.”
Freeman said he’s bringing scoring ability and leadership to the table at Chesapeake, and is planning to improve defensively.
Freeman’s leadership is something he improved upon greatly during his high school career.
“Being a leader and being vocal on the basketball court, trying to build a relationship with the teammates. That’s one of the biggest things, man,” Freeman said. “When you’re on a team, you’ve got (to have) a relationship with every single guy you can just to make the game that much easier. You’ve got a better understanding of one another.”
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