Allow me to introduce you to Jalen Rosemond, your favorite walk-ons favorite walk-on.
Journey to D1
Jalen Rosemond had no offers coming out of high school. Local division three schools like Suny Oneonta, Suny Cortland, John Jay, and Brockport expressed interest in the 6-foot-8 forward, but Jalen wasn’t interested in playing division three. He said, “I wanted to go somewhere that I started at the bottom of the ladder so I could expose myself to the best competition, most strict coaches, and tough practices that would develop me into the best version of myself”. Clearly, Rosemond is an extremely motivated individual who consistently pushes his limits athletically. He went on to say, “I wanted to play for a D2 or D1 where I had to fight for a tick of playing time everyday at practice”, he recognizes that this type of competition on a daily basis is what will maximize his growth as a basketball player in the long run.
Unfortunately, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team did not pick him up right away.
In Jalen’s freshmen year he was a practice player for the women’s basketball team, while playing on the men’s club team at the same time. Although this was certainly not the end goal, it proved to play an important role in his basketball journey at St. John’s. Being a practice player for the women’s team helped propel his growth on the court, “I love the game, I love playing and watching and I wanted to develop a better IQ for college basketball. Being on the women’s practice team that entire year in the division 1 environment helped me learn and sharpen some fundamentals”.
Fast forward to his sophomore year, Jalen shows up to tryouts for the men’s team. Coaches already were familiar with him because of his time spent with the women’s team, and they knew that he wanted to be a part of the men’s team. He took care of business at tryouts and throughout his sophomore year he was used as a practice player for the men’s team. He takes pride in competing with the scholarship players and pushing them everyday.
In his junior season (2020-2021), Coach Anderson promoted Rosemond to a walk-on. All of the hard work paid off. Unfortunately, Jalen suffered an injury in early November of 2020 which forced him to miss his Junior season. He will be fully recovered for his Senior year and says, “I can’t wait to see the fans back in Carnesecca for Tip-Off this year”.
Top Attributes on the Court
What’s the number one thing Jalen brings to a basketball team? He says it’s “that I’m going to compete and make my teammates better”. He values the importance of stepping in for charges, being relentless on the board, and diving on loose balls…in ANY DRILL or scrimmage. Rosemond works his tail off daily and in doing so, makes his teammates work a little bit harder.
Inside a St. John’s Practice
I asked Rosemond who the most difficult person to guard was in his last couple of years with the team. He acknowledged that it was a tough question, but ultimately said “either Mustapha or Champagnie”. Which is really a surprise to no one at all, I wouldn’t want to be on the defensive side against either of them in a 1v1.
Favorite Spot to Eat on Campus
Jalen’s favorite food on campus is “hibachi from Monty’s, not the law school, at Montys”. Of course this was closed this past year due to COVID, as was his second favorite food option, the Campus Diner.
Jalen says that he is super excited to see how far this team can go. He said, “I think we have some great new pieces to the team and seeing them go at it in pickup you get excited about what we can do when the season starts. I think you will see us standing come late March”. Music to St. John’s fans ears. The 2021-2022 season cannot come soon enough.