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BTW’S Jaycson Bereal Jr. Headed to Boise State

GTR Sports Writer


Courtesy photo

When Jaycson Bereal Jr. graduates from Booker T. Washington this spring, he will be going off into a new venture. The Hornet standout recently signed to play college basketball at Boise State. He knows he’ll encounter a different environment as he moves on to a state known for mountains and potatoes.

“I liked Idaho because it was different,” says Bereal, who stands 6-7. “Growing up in Oklahoma, you see the same things every day and Idaho is a total left turn. It is something different and that’s something I really liked about it.”

Key influences in Bereal’s decision to choose the Broncos was a close friend and an assistant coach.

Cam Christon, a freshman on this year’s Boise State squad, is listed as being from Allen, Texas. Interestingly, Bereal grew up with Christon in the Tulsa area as both played on the same AAU team until Christon moved to Texas his sophomore year. Bereal and Christon, who played at Union before relocating, were close, the BTW player says. They look forward to reuniting.

The assistant coach is Phil Beckner, who coached NBA and Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard at Weber State.

“He’s one of the best player development coaches in the league (Mountain West Conference),” says Bereal.

“To me, college basketball isn’t about going out to the biggest school possible. If you want to play pro, you want to go at a school that is your best chance,” he says. “Coach Beckner can develop me into the game. He can elevate me at my game better than anybody else can.”

Bereal chose Boise State over Tulsa, Tulane, Missouri State and Arkansas-Little Rock. He has played basketball since sixth grade. He also played football at Holland Hall before transferring to Booker T. his junior year.

How the game can change at any moment is what Bereal likes most about basketball.

“Basketball players are the best athletes in the world,” he says. “Just growing up watching basketball players and seeing how they can fly, they can just do stuff that almost looks surreal and that’s what I like about it. I also like how it’s a fluid game. It’s an up and down game. It just never stops.

“In football, there are plays and every play stops, you get a break. In basketball, it’s up and down and that’s the type of person I am. I love things that go fast,” Bereal says.  

Favorite NBA team for Bereal is the Los Angeles Lakers. Kevin Durant, now with Golden State, is his favorite player.

“He is unguardable,” he says of Durant. “He is unguardable and we’re kind of built the same. He’s a lot taller, but we’re built the same, long and rangy. He’s unbelievable. There is nobody in the world who can guard him. Maybe LeBron (James) is a better basketball player than him, but LeBron can’t guard K.D.”

This season has been transitional for Bereal and the rest of the Hornets since they are playing under new coach Conley Phipps. But, with a No. 5 ranking in Class 5A and an 11-5 record entering February, it has been pretty smooth, he says.

“We run a pretty fast offense and that’s the kind of style that we thrive in,” says Bereal, who averaged 20.5 points in four games heading into February. “I love the way Coach Phipps coaches us and we score a lot because we have a lot of playmakers who can go out there and score.”

Booker T. is also adjusting to playing in 5A after playing previously in Class 6A. The competition, Bereal believes, is harder in 5A than it is 6A.

“You have more dynamic players n 5A,” he says.

Going to the state championship in 6A last year, even though the Hornets lost, is Bereal’s favorite memory of his BTW prep career.

“The fact that we got there is something that was huge,” he says.  

The state championship loss motivates the team. They expect to win a title this year.  
Rest assured, the Boise State signee is proud to be marking his place in the Hornet legacy.

“Booker T. is the best school in America because of the diversity of the school,” Bereal says. “We win more than everybody else. Everybody at Booker T. loves each other. Even when you are out at Booker T., you’re still a Hornet. People who haven’t been to school in 40 years still come to all our games. That is something that is amazing. There is no other place like Booker T.”

Updated 02-21-2018

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