Thursday, February 04, 2016

NBLCNET Player Profile: Brent Jennings

Get to Know Him

Favourite Hobby: Writing and listening to music
Favourite Song: "Broadcast Live" by T.I.
Favourite Music Genre: Hip hop and rap
Favourite Movies: "Friday" and "Life"
Favourite Sports Teams: Atlanta Hawks, Braves, and Falcons
Favourite Moment: The night he met his wife and talked for about 10 straight hours on South Beach
Favourite Web Site: YouTube
Future Goals: Coaching, training, and motivationally speaking to inspire kids to do whatever they want in life and to reach goals others think they don't have a chance at reaching
Interesting Fact: Has over 300 albums on his iTunes Library
On the NBL Canada: "I like the competitiveness of the league...great players that are highly talented. I respect everyone's game and the fact that everyone is hungry, wanting more from the game we love."


Jennings playing basketball at age 2-3.
Brent Jennings grew up in Bankhead, a neighborhood on the west side of Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in a dangerous, crime-ridden area. Spending his childhood in Bankhead didn't just make him a tougher human being, but it also taught him to embrace that kind of lifestyle. His years there gave him the grit and hunger that he continues to show on the court today. However, he didn't play organized basketball until he was 16 years old, during his junior year at South Cobb High School in Austell. Basketball became an escape from trouble for the young man. Jennings, at first, was hesitant to join the team, but following a basketball workout in Atlanta, his father told him to put in the work that was required to play at a higher level. Future teammate Dre Adams saw his athleticism and encouraged him to join the team as well, and once Jennings made varsity, he played with renewed determination. His coach Tommy McWhorter allowed him to work out in the gym before school. But after receiving limited playing time at South Cobb, he chose to transfer. His destination would be Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta, his original school, where he would become one of his team's best scorers and rebounders.
An 18-year-old Jennings with Faulkner.

Out of high school, Jennings felt a combination of nervousness and excitement at the thought of playing college basketball. He was unsure about competing against players that had been playing the game since their childhoods, but he still secured a scholarship at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, with hopes of remaining there. However, he ran into issues in only his first game as a freshman after playing in an exhibition game against Auburn University. Mistakenly redshirting his freshman season, he lost a full season of eligibility. He continued to play for Faulkner as a sophomore, but he felt the need to transfer. But that process was not straightforward, either. Jennings initially had hopes to attend West Georgia University or even Jackson State University and play college hoops, but the loss of his cousin, who he had a brother-like bond with, made him realize that he should stay closer to home.
Jennings with his parents
after winning the conference
championship in 2010 at SPSU.

He transferred to Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, which was under a half an hour from his hometown. Jennings quickly found a home at SPSU and took pride in playing basketball for the school under head coach Jeff Jones. He also had high hopes for his future with the school because one of his former Faulkner teammates was an assistant coach there. Jennings had an immediate impact with SPSU by averaging over 16 points and a team-high 9 rebounds per game as a junior. He led them to a 29-6 finish as the regular season champions of the Southern States Athletic Conference and was named MVP of the conference tournament. Jennings also left his mark on the program by breaking their single-season record for most double-doubles and later being inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jennings hopes that the NBL
Canada will prepare him for
tougher competition in the future.
(Photo: Avery Hawthorne)
Following his collegiate years, Jennings continued to work hard on the basketball court, but this time it was about making a living. In 2011 and 2012, he turned to the D-League for a career and tried out for the Reno Bighorns and the Idaho Stampede respectively. But despite putting more effort than just about any other youngster at the tryouts, Jennings was not accepted by either team. But it proved that he could play at that level and could even make the NBA. Before long, he heard from his friend Brandon Robinson about the National Basketball League of Canada, and Jennings was drafted second overall by the Brampton A's at the 2013 NBL Canada draft. The league's talent grew at a rapid pace, but he quickly accustomed himself to the pro level. After a shocking trade that sent him to the London Lightning, he truly became one of its biggest stars. Currently, Jennings plays for the Island Storm, with one of his greatest accomplishments this season being helping Joe Salerno break the league record for most head coach wins. He hasn't played professionally outside of the NBL Canada, but as he continues to expose himself to professional hoops, he may hit the next level very soon.