From his first visit to the University of New Brunswick, star freshman Jesse Kendall knew his future lay with the Varsity Reds.
“Not only did they have a very good team last year, I knew they were also extremely well coached,” said Kendall. “I developed a strong relationship with coach Baker and the rest of the coaching staff, and by the end of my visit, I felt like I was already a part of the team.”
He also appreciated the feeling of community among the varsity teams at UNB, as well as the support from fellow students and faculty members on campus.
In terms of what he can bring to the V-Reds squad, Kendall believes that his determination and work ethic rank among his top personal attributes.
“I feel confident in my shooting ability and I just want to execute my role and help our team win each game.”
While Kendall excelled in his role as point guard for the majority of his playing career, he has successfully made the transition to shooting guard.
He hopes to improve within both positions over the course of his university career in order to create an impact as a combination guard for the Varsity Reds.
Kendall’s passion for the sport began at a young age.
“Growing up, I played a wide variety of sports but I always seems to have a basketball in my hands, so when I was nine I started to focus more on the game.”
The Guelph, Ontario native comes to UNB following an illustrious career, both at the high school and provincial level.
During his time at Bishop Macdonell Catholic Secondary School, he accumulated four league championships, four league all-star nominations and two D10 league MVP honours.
In 2013, he played AAU basketball with UNB’s standout guard Javon Masters as a member of the Ontario provincial championship bronze medal team, the Waterloo Wildhawks.
For Kendall, the opportunity to play with his former teammate at the university level was a dream come true.
“Javon and I have a very close relationship,” he said. “Playing in Waterloo we built a lot of chemistry together and I look forward to further developing that this year and throughout our university careers.”
“On the court and in practice he’s not so fun to play against, but Javon’s definitely a guy you love to have on your team. His hard work, intensity, and natural ability to score is a lot of fun to watch and he’s someone I can really learn from.”
Ranked eighth in the country to begin the season, the Varsity Reds are off to 2-0 start. However, Kendall understands that the team cannot become complacent in their victory.
“Even though we’re happy with our preseason play, it doesn’t mean anything right now. We’re focusing on the season one game at a time – thankful but never satisfied.”
In Friday night’s season opener against the Acadia Axemen, Kendall came off the bench for an impressive 11 points in 18 minutes of play.