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Posted On: 09/6/18 6:05 PM
The road to Division I basketball after high school can be direct, it can also be long and winding. Ja’Vary Christmas would certainly attest to the latter. The 2016 graduate of De La Salle North Catholic will now be a part of his third different college program, but the lanky 6-foot-5 guard knows it’s all a means to the end. Christmas is looking at moving on after this season and he’s reflective of the road thus far.
“After I graduated from high school, I didn’t have many looks so I went to Oregon on an academic scholarship,” Christmas said. “I ended up walking on to the practice team and I was part of that team that went to the Final Four. I got close with (head coach) Dana Altman so when his son got the job at Cloud County, I went there for my redshirt freshman year.”
At Cloud County last year, Christmas started half of the team’s games and averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists, shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from three-point range. After the season, he made the decision to move on to Sheridan College in Wyoming for his sophomore year.
“I had a pretty good season in one of the best JC leagues in the country,” Christmas said. “But the situation changed, I got my release, and Sheridan seemed like the best opportunity for me. We’ve got a bunch of D-I guys and two top-20 players, and we’re coming in as one of the Top 20 teams in the nation. I’ll get to play the point as they like my court vision and my height.”
Already since joining the team – which features former Jefferson High School graduate Dontae Bryant on its staff – Christmas has started hearing from college programs. His current list of schools showing interest includes Cal State Bakersfield, Chaminade, Mississippi Valley State, Stetson, Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Texas Southern. All of the schools have informed him that they will be recruiting him into the season and Christmas is appreciative of the interest.
“I just want the right program for me,” Christmas said. “I’ve already seen an elite program at Oregon, so I don’t necessarily want to go high-major D-I or anything like that. I just want what’s the best fit for me and my game, and I want to win.”
Christmas indicated that he likely wasn’t signing early, but does have a hope by making a commitment by Christmas – which would be done as a tribute. Until then, he’s focused on the upcoming season and the continued development of his game. “I just want to do whatever it takes to win games,” Christmas said. “I know I can score, so I want to improve my shooting percentage and show I can defend, rebound, and make my teammates better. I want to be a leader.”