The Orange Wave of Jefferson feature the big three of Shamorie Ponds, Jaquan McKennon and Devere Creighton. McKennon and Creighton joined the team this year with the singular goal of winning the Public Schools Athletics League (PSAL) city title.
Last year Jefferson knocked off perennial power Lincoln (Brooklyn, NY) in the PSAL AA semifinals 77-74 and that sent orange shock waves across the Gotham city. Jefferson had defeated the Railsplitters of Lincoln with four D1 players on the roster and a program that has had legendary New York players like Stephon Marbury ’95, Sebastian Telfair ’04 and Lance Stephenson ’09 among the many New York greats who have played at Lincoln.
Will the Bark Be Heard at Torrey Pines?
In two previous meetings last year Lincoln had easily defeated Jefferson 87-65 and 90-71. Jefferson coach Bud Pollard said of last year’s team that it was the best team he has coached and likely the biggest win in his coaching career. Pollard said after the game that he was the new boss, the big dog, after which he barked.
Pollard was referring to the pending departure of Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton who left Lincoln after 19 years to become an assistant coach at Seton Hall.
In the next game Jefferson lost to Cardozo 55-54 in the PSAL AA city championship at the Barclays Center. A sophomore for Cardozo made two free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining to defeat Jefferson. This was the third consecutive year to lose in the PSAL city title game for Jefferson.
Jefferson Plays All Games at the Barclays Center
This year’s Jefferson team is focused on returning to the Barclays Center, the recently established home of the PSAL city title game. Coach Pollard reminds his players before every game to play like every game is at the Barclays Center, like it is their last game.
Shamorie Ponds ‘16
Returning Orange Wave star junior point guard 6-0 Shamorie Ponds ‘16 was considered the top sophomore in Brooklyn last year averaging 15 points, six rebounds and six assists a game. Coach Pollard says that time and experience will continue to help Ponds develop into the player he can become while he already has offers from Fordham and Cal-State Bakersfield before his junior year began.
Devere Creighton ‘15
Senior Devere Creighton ’15 had played at Jefferson as a freshman, left for two years and came back to the Orange Wave for his senior year.
Creighton averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last year at Brooklyn Collegiate while leading the team to the PSAL semifinals with one of the team’s best players sidelined all year.
Creighton was considered an elite Brooklyn player last year and is among the favorites to be the top player in Brooklyn this year.
Jaquan McKennon ‘15
Senior point guard Jaquan McKennon ’15 is joining his third team in four years having played at St. Raymond (Bronx, NY) and Cardozo (Queens, NY) in the past. The Queens native left Cardozo in Queens to join Brooklyn’s Jefferson High this year with the goal of winning a PSAL city title.
D1 teams to express interest in McKennon include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Creighton, Iona, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Tennessee and St. John’s.
First Round Opponent
Jefferson plays host Torrey Pines in the first round of the National Division at 5:25 pm on December 26 at Torrey Pines.
Jefferson Alumni Max Zaslofsky
6-2 Max Zaslofsky, Jefferson class of 1943, spent two years in the Navy during World War II before playing one year at St. John’s and then playing in the NBA. Zaslofsky was a four-time All-NBA First Team member.
While playing for the Chicago Stags Zaslofsky became the youngest player to be named to the All-NBA First Team at the age of 21 in 1947. 60 years later a kid named LeBron James broke Zaslofsky’s age record in 2006.
One year later in 1948 Zaslofsky became the youngest player to lead the NBA in scoring at the age of 22 and it took until 2010 for a kid named Kevin Durant to break this age record.
Jefferson Alumni Sam Schoenfeld
Legendary coach Sam Schoenfeld was part of four PSAL finalist teams at Jefferson, two as a coach, two as a player before finally winning the PSAL city title in 1936. The Sam Schoenfeld Sportsmanship Award is annually given to the college basketball team that best exemplifies sportsmanship.
Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave at a Glance
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Head Coach: Bud Pollard
2013-14 Season: 20-7, PSAL AA City Finalist
PSAL City Titles History
Titles: 2 (1936-A, 1954-A)
Title Appearances: 6
# 2: 6-0 Shamorie Ponds ‘16
# 4: 5-9 Jaquan McKennon ’15 (St. Raymond transfer)
# 20: 6-5 Devere Creighton ’15 (Brooklyn Collegiate transfer)
Prominent Alumni of Jefferson
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
Riddick Bowe, boxer
Shawon Dunston, MLB
Leroy Ellis, NBA (1972 Laker championship team)
Jack Garfinkel, Boston Celtics
Sidney Green, NBA
Danny Kaye, actor
Al Lewis, actor, political activist
Lil’ Fame, rapper
Phil Sellers, NBA
Jimmy Smits, actor
Shelley Winters, actress
Max Zaslofsky, NBA (records broken by LeBron & Durant)
Howard Zinn, historian, political activist