Daniel Jamerson had some success in his first year playing high school basketball in the United States, but was looking to improve his game when he transferred to Catholic for his senior season.
“My first year built a lot of confidence,” Jamerson said. “I was projecting more confidence in myself to just play my game, not really being lost. I’m going to play my game and I’m going to make sure I score. If I don’t have a scoring opportunity, I’m going to pass the ball to someone else. It’s a team game and I love team basketball.”
Jamerson found the perfect team, joining a team full of returning talent and leading the Knights to the 3A finals, averaging 14.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.4 blocked shots, 2.0 steals and 1.0 assists per game.
“I got to meet new people, got to play other competition and got to meet some friends while playing opposing teams,” he said. “I built a lot of bonds with my new teammates as well.”
The 6-foot-7 forward was selected by the Capital City Conference coaches as the 2021 CCC Player of the Year.
“He’s really been a blessing for us,”Catholic coach Mike Curry said. “He came in just before school started and really didn’t have a chance to blend in during the spring or summer with the guys, but he fit right in. There were some growing pains, getting used to everybody, but for the most part everything went smooth. He was good for us on and off the court.”
And while he was the missing piece of the puzzle -- stepping in to fill the void left by the graduated Justin Buford after Buford and the Knights went to the 4A state tournament in 2020 -- Curry earned coach of the year honors for finding the right chemistry and orchestrating a 16-game winning streak to reach the 3A finals after a 5-5 start this season.
“There was no guarantee it was going to work out the way it did,” Curry said. “Those things look good on paper but you’ve got to go out there and do it and guys have to buy in. We had to work at it, not just the physical part of it but the role part of it.
“Guys are in different roles. Myles (Butler) wasn’t asked to do a lot last year. He guarded the best offensive guy on the other team but we needed more (this year) from him as a scorer, we needed more him as a ball handler. He wasn’t comfortable in that role all the time, but he had to get uncomfortable to be in that role.”
Butler and point guard LJ Green were chosen by the coaches to the all-CCC first team, along with Montgomery Academy shooting guard Britton Kohn, St. James guard Bradley Thomas and Trinity’s top scorer, forward Parker Hughes.
Curry, who took his team to the finals before losing to Fyffe, was selected as the coach of the year.
And while Jamerson showed his talent in South Korea as a sophomore and at Stanhope Elmore as a junior, Curry wanted his star to understand his role in making the Knights the best team they could be.
“I thought he needed to concentrate on being an inside-out guy and not an outside-in guy,” Curry said. “He needed to start off around the basket. Nobody wants to be around the basket any more, everybody wants to be out on the perimeter. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if I can score around the basket, why wouldn’t I want to be around the basket? When you’re the biggest guy on the court, you’ve got to be around the basket to score and defensively to protect the rim.”
CAPITAL CITY CONFERENCE BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
Britton Kohn G 6-2 Sr. Montgomery Academy
Bradley Thomas G 6-0 Jr. St. James
LJ Green G 6-1 So. Catholic
Myles Butler G/F 6-3 Sr. Catholic
Parker Hughes F 6-4 Sr. Trinity
Avery Stuart G 6-2 So. Alabama Christian
KJ Jackson F 6-2 Fr. St. James
Jamal Cooper G 5-10 Jr. Montgomery Academy
TJ Dudley F 6-3 Jr. Catholic
Andrew McNees C 6-5 Sr. Trinity
Honorable mention: Jalen Clark, G-F, 6-3, Sr., Alabama Christian; Hayes Hunt, G-F, 6-4, So., Alabama Christian; Matthew Reardon, G-F, 6-5, Jr., Catholic; Jon Cole Portis, G, 6-2, Sr., Trinity.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- Daniel Jamerson, Catholic
COACH OF THE YEAR -- Mike Curry, Catholic