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Sports

December 1, 2012

Jayne the walk-on wonder

Newburyport alumnus earns spot on Holy Cross basketball team

Chris Jayne dreamed of playing Division 1 college basketball for much of his life, but the 5-foot-11 guard didn’t receive a single offer after his senior season at Newburyport High in 2011.

The dream didn’t die there for Jayne. After enrolling at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester in the fall of 2011, he reached out to Crusaders basketball coach Milan Brown in hopes of securing a tryout.

Jayne learned open tryouts for the 2011-2012 season had occurred the previous spring when Jayne was still in high school. He offered to serve as a team manager that season in hopes of getting a better look at what it takes to play Division 1 college hoops.

After serving as the manager for a year, Jayne was finally granted a tryout last spring. He made the team, earning a spot as a reserve guard.

“Since I was a little kid, it’s been a dream for me to play for a Division 1 team,” Jayne said. “As far back as I can remember, it’s something I’ve wanted to do. I used to be a (Boston College) fan, and now I’ll actually get to play at Boston College. As far as the commitment, it’s all worth it.”

The commitment started last spring, when Jayne jumped into the Division 1 workload with both feet. One week after the Holy Cross season ended last spring, the former Clipper guard joined the Holy Cross offseason conditioning program, which included 6 a.m. weight-lifting sessions four mornings a week, and daily sessions of pick-up basketball with the team’s top players.

“That’s when I made the team,” Jayne said. “I started practicing and lifting with the team. It was like a job.”

It’s always been a windy road for Jayne, who was never recognized as one of the top prospects for his age while playing in the Newburyport Boys Basketball Association before high school. In fact, Jayne was cut from the eighth-grade travel team, and served as the third-string point guard for Newburyport High as a freshman. He improved each season in high school, eventually earning Cape Ann League All-Star honors as a senior. He averaged 13.8 points and 3.3 assists that season, playing a starting role for a team that went to the Division 3 North semifinals.

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