Former Longmont star Justinian Jessup’s pillowy-accurate 3-point shot was lethal in high school. So good in college, too.
The 6-foot-7 senior at Boise State became the school’s all-time 3-point leader Wednesday, hitting 5 of 6 from deep in a win over UNLV while passing former Broncos player Anthony Drmic, who finished his career with 275.
Jessup headed into Saturday’s game against No. 7 San Diego State with 280 career 3s, 16 shy of tying BYU great Jimmer Fredette’s Mountain West record.
“It’s definitely special to be in the record books at a school that has had a bunch of great players come through,” the former Trojan said by phone Thursday. “I just feel really thankful to be in such great company and have such great teammates and coaches who’ve helped me along the way.”
Jessup was named BoCoPreps.com player of the year twice while leading the Trojans to back-to-back Final Fours in 2015 and 2016.
He played 104 games for Longmont, where he averaged 14.6 points and made 171 3s. (He also ranks sixth all-time in the state with 309 steals).
As for his touch from distance, he credits coach Jeff Kloster for the wisdom.
“He definitely taught me good fundamentals on the shot,” Jessup said. “Hold-and-release was a big thing with him. I think earlier in my high school days I didn’t necessarily emphasize that enough. And hearing that from him every day helped me learn that and implement that into my shot.
“He just gave me the confidence to shoot big shots at big moments, too. That was nice of him.”
Jessup, who was averaging 15.5 points while shooting over 41 percent from deep in his senior season heading into Saturday, is currently 11th in school history in total points with 1,334. The senior said he hopes to play professionally after the season.
“He was the type of player who always strived to be better,” Kloster said. “He wanted to work on his craft. He was one of those kids that would come into the gym when no one else was. … He’s the best two-way player I’ve ever had.”
Going up, I see
The boys’ basketball program at Niwot has thrived in the early goings under new head man Clay Wittrock.
The Cougars, who haven’t had a winning season since current Frederick coach Enoch Miller’s final year with them in 2015, and just nine in the previous two seasons, are currently 7-4.
“I think little by little they’re figuring some things out,” said Wittrock, who came over after being an assistant on the Grand Junction staff last season. “We have a lot stiffer and tougher tests coming up to really tell us how far we are. But the effort they’ve put in towards what I want our program to be — which is a hard-guarding team, a team that shares the ball, a team that doesn’t do things to shoot itself in the foot — I think we’re making progress.”
Before the winter break, the Cougars beat then-ranked Erie 61-48, and started the new year off with four wins in five games.
Their next test will be at Longmont (8-2) Tuesday.
“When I came in for the interview, the opportunity to play in a league with teams like Longmont, Centaurus, Silver Creek and Thompson Valley, and everybody in this league, I knew if you want to build a program to be in place where you’re going to face quality opponents throughout league, what a better opportunity” Wittrock said.
“When you can look right across town and go, ‘Here’s the standard guys. If you want to compete, you got it right in your backyard to see what the model is.’”
PrepSwimCo.com released their new girls’ swim rankings for all three classifications Wednesday.
Fairview is ranked second behind Cherry Creek in the 5A standings with Legacy at No. 9 and Boulder at 18th. In 4A, Broomfield is fourth, Silver Creek fifth, Monarch eighth, Niwot 10th and Longmont 18th. In 3A, Erie is third and Holy Family ranks 10th.
Niwot’s Mary Codevilla has the top state time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.78) and the 4A-best time in the 100 butterfly (59.14). Monarch’s Katey Lewicki has the top 4A time in the backstroke at 55.80 and Silver Creek is atop the classification in the 200 free relay (1:40.16).
Sabrina Rachjaibun of Legacy currently has the fastest 5A time in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:03.78.