Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Kayla Crosby’s goal in life has always been to have a positive impact on the lives of other people around her; which is why it should be no surprise that she has always known that she loves to help people. In 2015, Crosby decided to take this love of helping people to a whole new level with the founding of a semi-professional basketball team, the Jamestown Jackals. She wanted to unlock the potential of local basketball in the area; with Brooklyn and New York City being about six hours away, the Pearl City needed its own representative in the sport. The team was born from the goal of helping players and coaches in and outside Jamestown by providing opportunities and stepping stones for them to move forward in their careers.
The Jackal’s reached their pinnacle just three years after their inception. They won the North American Basketball League (NABL) regular-season league but fell short to the Dallas Mustangs in the Finals. The Jamestown Jackals then announced their inclusion in The Basketball League. This moved seemed like a perfect match and perfectly timed for the Jackals as well. With their recent success and their overall goals of outreach outside of the basketball court, there were high expectations put on the Jackals. The success in the NABL, however, was not duplicated in The Basketball League, having the Jackals missing out on the playoffs to finish off a slightly below-average first season in the league.
Globally Ballin Special Visit with the Jamestown Jackals
The 2020 season was meant to be a season of redemption for the Jamestown Jackals, and in a way, it was. Although they only played 11 games when the season was forced to end, they came out second in the league with a win-loss record of 8-3. This left a lot of what-ifs up in the air with this roster. I believe that they had a very realistic chance of finishing the 2020 season as champions. This confidence of mine in the team came down to the distribution of scoring responsibility within the team. The Jackals finished the season with five players in the squad with a double-digit average for points per game. This statistic speaks volumes on the style of play for the team, and in basketball today; proper distribution of scoring load is everything.
Leading the way, though, for the team in scoring is 6”2 Guard, Matthew Hart. The 26-year-old Buffalo native averaged about 20 points per game. He finished the short season shooting 48% from the field and an impressive 91% from the free-throw line. Hart’s season-high came in a blowout win against the Albany Patroons, where there were five players in double-digits for scoring.
One of those five players was Bernard Edwards, who was the front-court scoring option for the Jackals. In the game versus Albany, the 30-year-old Detroit-born forward scored 23. He finished the season averaging about 19 points per game, shooting 41% from the field and a clean 80% from the line. His season-high of 41 points came in a game against Owensboro. In that game, there were six players in double digits for points, and only one was on a flat 10 points. Hart scored 26, showing that one-two punch that the Jackals have.
As I have said before, this team is definitely on the up, and if this style of play continues, title contention is definitely in the cards. A championship would be the perfect reward for the wild ambition and optimism that Kayla Crosby had in setting up this team. A championship would be the consolidation of simple beliefs of Crosby, creating opportunities and unlocking potential. This is what sports should be about.
This piece was written by Enrique Ortiz, a common contributor for Globally Ballin. This piece is the seventh article of the "Who Are They" series. An article series that takes a look at all the teams in The Basketball League from a fresh set of eyes. Each piece in this series will be out and available on the website every Tuesday, enjoy!
ALSO - Below are a few links that will take you to video/audio interviews we did at the 2019 TBL Draft Combine. The first interview is a video interview with former head coach of the Indy Express Lee McDuffy and Lions TMO, Mario Lovett. These audio interviews are a part of the Globally Ballin Patreon page. So, if you are not already subscribed, a subscription may be required. Click the links to find out and learn more, enjoy!
Geniussports. (2020). Bernard Edwards Statistics. Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://hosted.wh.geniussports.com/TBBL/en/person/1126523/gamelog?
Geniussports. (2020). Jamestown Jackals Team Profile. Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://hosted.wh.geniussports.com/TBBL/en/team/109229?
Geniussports. (2020). Matthew Hart Statistics. Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://hosted.wh.geniussports.com/TBBL/en/person/1472797/gamelog?
Our history. (2020). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://jamestownjackals.com/our-history/