Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports/University of Virginia Athletics.
By David Cordova
In this day and age, point guards are no longer ranging from 5 feet to 6-1. Nowadays, they’re even 6-5 and above. Having someone with height that can oversee the court and also direct a team is a huge asset for a program to have that.
For the University of Virginia, they have that in Ty Jerome. The freshman from New Rochelle, New York has an amazing skill set that also includes his shot selection and also his ability to dominate on offense against smaller guards.
“I just love playing the game and a lot of people invest their time in it, “says Jerome about his love for the game. “I just want to have success in doing what I love.”
Jerome first started out playing for the famed Riverside Church program, which was then run by his father, Mark Jerome for over ten years, and also a program in which he won a national championship in his younger days as a pre-teen. “Felt real good, winning a national championship,” Jerome says, “It was one of the best experiences of my basketball career.”
On how his father’s basketball tutelage impacted his game: “Huge impact. He taught me the game from a young age. I watched a lot of basketball with him growing up. Always working out. Basically, he helped me set my base.”
Then from then on, he went on to play for teams such as New Heights on the Under Armour Association circuit, in which he won two championships with them before moving on to the Pro Scholars Athletics on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, in which he helped them to a quarterfinal appearance in the Nike Peach Jam. Throughout the summer of 2015, he averaged 11.9 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game with the Cardinals.
On playing with New Heights: “I did it with a great group of guys, I did it with a great coach in Chris Alesi, amazing experience overall. As much fun off and off the court.
On playing with PSA (Pro Scholars Athletics) Cardinals: “That was also a great time, a great group of guys and great coach, really did it the right way.
On the scholastic level, Jerome held his own at Iona Prepatory School, which plays in the New York Catholic League, or the CHSAA (Catholic High School Athletic Association), which is one of the toughest leagues in the country. As a sophomore, he averaged 12 points and three assists per game, but then his junior year would prove to be a revelation.
The Gaels went 22-6 in the 2014-15 season, with three Division I players such as Jerome, who was a junior, Matt Ryan, the 2015 New York Mr. Basketball Award winner, now at Notre Dame and Thomas Capuano, now at Manhattan. But Jerome showed off his talent throughout that season, as he averaged 20 points, six rebounds and four assists per game, and was named First Team All-State, Westchester Journal News Player of the Year, First Team All-CHSAA and All-Metro.
During his senior year, due to a hip injury, Jerome was limited to seven games, but still managed to average 24.7 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game. One of his highlights was a 35-point performance against Thomas Jefferson of Brooklyn. “Yeah, that was the most toughest thing I had to deal with in terms of my basketball career and just bouncing back motivated me,” Jerome says about his injury.
With high school over, Jerome had the next best thing to look forward to: college basketball. But in September 2014, he made a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia, picking them over schools such as Creighton, Columbia, Davidson, George Washington, Harvard, Northwestern, St. John’s, Stanford, Temple and Villanova. He then made that commitment official in his senior year when he signed his letter of intent during the fall signing period in November 2015.
“Great coaching staff, great group of kids on and off the court, family atmosphere,” Jerome says of his decision to come to Charlottesville, “It was awesome, it was everything. Total package.”
Jerome was a part of a recruiting class that was ranked No. 8 in the nation by both ESPN and 24/7 Sports that included Jay Huff, DeAndre Hunter and McDonald’s All-American Kyle Guy.
This year was a learning experience for Jerome, as he only averaged 4.3 points and 1.5 assists per game on a Cavaliers team that went was ranked No. 24 in the country in the Associated Poll and went 23-11 overall and 11-7 in ACC play. In that time, they beat nationally-ranked teams such as Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame, all of whom were conference play.
But their season came to an end on March 18th in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Florida, with a 65-39 loss. But onehis biggest performance came against Villanova, then ranked No. 1 in the nation on January 29th in Phialdelphia, in which he scored 15 points in a close loss, 61-59.
But Jerome has a positive recollection of his freshman season. “Great conference, probably the best conference in the country, every game you see something new, you go out and compete against the best.” said Jerome about playing in the ACC.
With the impending graduation of senior guard and second-team All-ACC selection London Perrantes and the recent transfers of juniors Marial Shayok and Darius Thompson, more playing time for Jerome will increase. The promising backcourt of him and Guy will most likely do wonders in the ACC next season, but Jerome’s thoughts on the future: “We gotta find out.”
Highlights of Ty Jerome:
Courtesy of Courtside Films.
Courtesy of ACC Digital Network.
Courtesy of RI Affiliated.
Courtesy of Inside Streetball.
Courtesy of Virginia Sports TV.
Courtesy of Court Cred.
Courtesy of The Patient Chase.