Jenkins begins career as video scout for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets team
By Cary Shuman
Mark Jenkins remembers playing basketball at the age of three. He also remembers sitting on his father’s lap watching college and NBA games on television.
Jenkins participated in travel team and AAU basketball before enrolling as a sophomore in the Winthrop school system that was led at the time by his father, former superintendent of schools Dr. Steve Jenkins.
The 6-foot-1-inch guard was a versatile, aggressive, and heady player with a keen outside shooting touch and he became a two-year starter for head coach Dave Brown’s Vikings who made three solid runs in the State Tournament.
“I was off by one year for Winthrop’s state championship [in 2011],” recalled the WHS 2010 graduate.
Jenkins matriculated at Bridgewater State University where he stayed connected to basketball by joining the men’s program as recruiting coordinator and head of operations. He also worked as a counselor at Boston College and Duke University summer basketball camps.
One year after his graduation from Bridgewater and following a successful internship as an operations assistant with the Charlotte Hornets, Jenkins has landed a job as assistant video scout for the NBA franchise located in North Carolina.
Jenkins, 23, began in his new position May 18 and he has been busy editing videotapes of the NBA playoffs for Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford.
“It’s been a good couple of weeks so far,” said Jenkins, who is pursuing a master’s in Sports Leadership at Northeastern University. “I’m very excited about the opportunity but I know there’s a lot of work to do this year and in the following years if I want to make my dreams come true.”
Jenkins no doubt impressed Clifford with his work ethic and knowledge of the game during his internship for the 2014-15 season. When there was a job opening, Clifford summoned Jenkins in to his office for an interview.
“I walked in to his office and the first thing he [Clifford] said to me was that there is a job opening as a video scout and if I was interested,” said Jenkins. “I immediately just said, ‘yes.’ “I can’t really tell you what he said after that because I was so excited.”
Jenkins received a strong recommendation from Charlotte associate head coach Patrick Ewing, the former Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Georgetown, and New York Knicks star who was coached by Steve Jenkins at Rindge and Latin.
“I worked very closely with all the assistant coaches during my internship so I’m assuming I made a good impression on them,” said Jenkins. “I used to grab rebounds for the players every day and participate in some of the plays during practice. I would be switching off with Al Jefferson sometimes. Al calls me, ‘Boston.’”
Interestingly one of the Charlotte assistants, Pat Delany, is the all-time leader in assists at St. Anselm, the same college where Jenkins’s former high school teammate, Dino Mallios, led the nation in assists two years in a row.
Jenkins said he developed an affinity for the intricacies and Xs and Os of basketball by listening to his father and following in the footsteps of his older brother, Adam Jenkins.
“My earliest memories are sitting on my father’s lap watching basketball,” said Jenkins. “I would find all these basketball tapes around the house and I was a ballboy for St. John’s University with coach Mike Jarvis and would go to the Knicks games to watch Pat Ewing play. I remember my father teaching me how to take layups.”
“My brother was really good in basketball and sports in general and his AAU team won state titles and I was always around the court watching that,” said Jenkins.
As Jenkins begins his role on the Hornets staff, more and more professional teams are using videotapes to analyze and dissect every aspect of an athlete’s all-around game and determine each player’s strengths and weaknesses.
Jenkins said his base of operations will be at the Hornets’ headquarters, the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.
Jenkins said he is grateful for his three years in the WHS boys program and for the knowledge he gained from David Brown.
“I learned a lot of stuff basketball wise from coach Brown,” said Jenkins. “I learned how to play better help-defense. When we would break the huddle, we would always say, ‘On three – family,’ so he helped me to understand the family concept on a basketball team.”
Jenkins also credited the guidance of Winthrop teacher and former assistant coach Brian Curley, who was his coach on the Boston Warriors AAU team.
“He [Curley] coached me for six years and taught me how to tame my attitude,” said Jenkins. “He taught me to keep my mouth shut and just play hard.”
Dave Brown congratulated Jenkins on his success.
“Mark was one of the smartest players I coached, for sure,” said Brown. “It doesn’t surprise me that he got himself involved in basketball. I wish him the best of luck and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a head coach someday.”
WhS sports Roundup
Boys lacrosse team defeats Malden, 10-9
The Winthrop High boys lacrosse defeated Malden, 10-9, last week. Jon Griffiths pumped seven goals into the Malden net to lead the Viking attack.
The laxers then dropped a tight 9-8 contest with Saugus. “Steve Holgerson and Will Holden stepped up and played tremendous defense, giving us every chance to win,” said WHS coach Matt Serino.
WHS girls tennis wraps up season
The Winthrop High girls tennis team completed its season this past week with a match against Marblehead, coming out on the short end of a 5-0 decision.
The Lady Vikings who competed in the contest in the singles encounters were Victoria Cursino at first singles, Meg Dolan at second singles, and Jackie Boulay at third singles. The doubles teams were comprised of Juanita Saenz & Haley Holden at first doubles and Kailyn Ferrara & Brooke Bacigalupo at second doubles, with the the latter duo dropping their second set in a tiebreaker.
“Although we ended the season with a 2-14 record, the girls improved greatly with many close matches that were decided by scores of 3-2,” said WHS coach Amy Fasoli. “We hope to continue our momentum for the 2016 season.”