NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 1, 2012

Jayne the walk-on wonder

Newburyport alumnus earns spot on Holy Cross basketball team

(Continued)

“With Chris, it’s not really talent driven,” said Newburyport coach Tom L’Italien. “He has an inner-competitiveness and mental toughness that’s off the charts. He refuses to let anyone say no to him. Looking at his athleticism and skill level, I’d be hard-pressed to say he’s a Division 1 player. That being said, his intangibles make him a valuable player for any team.”

Even after working his way to the top of the Newburyport program, Jayne was a relative unknown to the Holy Cross coaching staff when he enrolled to study chemistry. As a team manager, he would often play pick-up with the Holy Cross coaches.

“That’s where I showed I can play,” Jayne said. “By the time the season ended, they wanted me to walk on and go out for the team.”

Jayne has yet to make his debut seven games into the Holy Cross season. The Crusaders are 4-3, with a win over a top-50 team in Old Dominion.

“I realize what I have to do to get playing time,” Jayne said. “It’s a step-by-step goal, and the next step is to get playing time. Right now, the experience is one of the most important things.”

Part of Jayne’s experience has included defending players six or seven inches taller than him in practice. He is learning to play to his strengths, and avoid putting himself in situations that exploit his weaknesses.

“I’m getting used to what I can do at this level, and what I can’t do,” Jayne said. “There are a lot of things I did in high school that I can’t do here. I’m 5-11, and I’m covering guys who are 6-5 or 6-6. You have to know what you’re good at. The best part of my game is my jump shot, but I have to improve my ball-handling. I think my role will be as a quick catch-and-shoot shooter.”

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