Jenkins becomes Hofstra's all-time scorer

Jenkins becomes Hofstra's all-time scorer

Published Feb. 1, 2011 10:10 p.m. ET

Charles Jenkins had his eyes wide open when he was a freshman at Hofstra and it's made his senior season one for the record books.

Last Saturday, Jenkins made two free throws with 10:15 to play against Drexel, making him the Pride's all-time leading scorer. He finished with 19 points in the 65-60 loss and has 2,280 for his career.

There was a lot of fanfare leading up to his passing former teammate Antoine Agudio on the scoring list. None of it came from Jenkins and there wasn't much celebrating for him after he passed the milestone.

''I think I got a better feel for it on Sunday when I actually had time to relax and put the loss behind me. After the game I was upset at the loss and the way we played,'' Jenkins said. ''I tried to push it away as it was coming up because I didn't want it to be any type of distraction to the team.''


Then he flashed the smile that has made him a favorite among his teammates, coaches, fellow students and fans.

''I think my parents thought about it more than I did. At the beginning of the season my mother said 'You're only 500-some points from Antoine.' I think she definitely enjoyed a bit more than I did after the game.''

Jenkins is playing his senior season under a new coach. Mo Cassara became the head coach of the Pride in May, two days after Tim Welsh resigned after he was arrested on a DWI charge, and two months after Tom Pecora left after nine seasons at Hofstra to take the job at Fordham.

It was Pecora who took a chance on the guard from Springfield Gardens High School. After a redshirt year when he went against three of Hofstra's best guards in practice, Jenkins jumped right into the mix as one of the best college players in the New York metropolitan area.

During his freshman season he heard and saw what could be.

''I definitely never thought about it when Antoine was going for the scoring title. It seemed like so much of an accomplishment for him and I never thought about it because I thought he was one of best scorers I'd ever seen,'' Jenkins said. ''But (assistant) Coach (David) Duke, who recruited me actually predicted I would do it, When Antoine broke the record he came over and whispered to me 'I want to see you beat Antoine.' It makes him look like a psychic because four years later it happened.''

Duke, who went on to Fordham with Pecora, remembers that comment vividly.

''I went to Antoine first to congratulate him and then went to Charles,'' he said. ''He was the kind of kid who worked so hard you knew he would be that good. 'You get what deserve' is a cliche but it's so true with Charles. It starts with his parents who are such great people. He kept it going and look at him. Some NBA team is going to get really lucky.''

Pecora called Jenkins Saturday night.

''I congratulated him and we said how we love each other,'' Pecora said. ''He's so charming and personable and has that great smile. To have that character as a young man, that's what put me over the top.''

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jenkins has a muscular frame that makes look more suited for a defensive backfield than a backcourt.

He averaged 15 points as a freshman and was selected as the rookie of the year in and around New York. He received his award at the annual dinner where the Haggerty Award is presented to the area's best college player.

''I remember when I won the Met rookie of the year I sat down and looked at all the names who won the Haggerty Award and it I remember (Rider's) Jason Thompson speak after winning his and I remember thinking one day I'll win that award especially because it had been so long since a Hofstra player won it,'' Jenkins recalled. ''I never expected it to be the next season but winning it two times is great and to be mentioned in the same breath with all those great guys who won the award ahead of me, it's definitely a great feeling.''

Jenkins, the Colonial Athletic Association's player of the year last season, is the favorite to win a third Haggerty. The only players to win it three time are Jim McMillian, who played at Columbia in the late 1960s and Chris Mullin of St. John's in the mid-1980s.

Jenkins' scoring average improved every season and going into Wednesday's game against George Mason it's 23.3 this season - sixth in the nation - and he's shooting 54.9 percent from the field, including 43 percent from 3-point range for the Pride (14-8, 8-3). No other player in the top 15 is above 50 percent. He has scored in double figures in 111 of his 117 career games and his current streak of 47 straight is third-longest in the country. Oh yeah, he's leading the CAA in assists at 5.1 per game.

Cassara's only regret concerning Jenkins is that he will have him for only one season.

''Coming in here, when I got hired I knew Charles was a great player but I was just getting to know him as a person. Once I had the opportunity to coach him and get to know him as a person I realized he is not only a great player but he is a great person and even more important he is a great teammate,'' he said. ''He's the fuel that makes the engine go. He's unselfish. He's a team guy and ultimately he just wants to win and that's the reason we're near the top of the league because he's taken a bunch of young guys without any experience and willed them to win.''

One of the players Jenkins passed on the scoring list was Speedy Claxton, who went on to a career in the NBA, and who played plenty of ball with Jenkins over the summers.

''At a very young age he learned the work ethic and he developed the skill set he has,'' Claxton said. ''He has a great future.''

Jenkins, who attends every game involving all Hofstra teams and is always part of any event on campus, said he won't think about the NBA until the season is over.

''I'm still in touch with a lot of the seniors when I was a freshman,'' he said. ''I speak to them on a consistent basis and they all say how much they miss it here. I want to cherish all my time here. I don't want to be the old guy talking to (freshman) Shemiye (McLendon) when he's a senior and say that I miss this and regret it. I just want to live my last days here to the fullest.''