Story by Thomas Becker Photo: Drew League
CHARLOTTETOWN - If his college career is any indication, then the Island Storm may have struck gold with the recent signing of Jarrell Tate.
Despite splitting time between three different schools from 2014-17, the six-foot-four guard still found success wherever he’s played. At Feather River College in Quincy, California, Tate and his 24.6 points a night led the Golden Eagles to a conference championship. After capturing another conference title with the East Los Angeles College Huskies, Tate pursued Division II basketball at Bethesda University, where he put up 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
One thing the 25-year-old doesn’t lack is confidence. During his time at Bethesda, the Flames played opposite several Division I schools, where Tate continued to thrive. He even managed to bump his production to 25.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in those contests.
“I learned quickly that I can overcome any situation that comes my way,” he said. “The bigger the stage, the better I play.”
Tate also spent the past two summers in the Drew League where he gained invaluable experience playing alongside and against some of the best talent in the world, including that of the NBA.
“The Drew League was a great platform for me to grow as a player. It was a learning experience playing against NBA players and it showed me how much harder I have to work to get to that level.”
All that success and experience has now led him to the biggest stage to date – the NBL of Canada – where he can finally call himself a professional for the first time in his career, something he’s aspired to since he was a kid.
“I’m really excited to fulfil my dream of becoming a pro. I worked hard my entire life for this opportunity.”
And the Storm are equally thrilled to welcome the young guard to their team.
“We’re excited to add Jarrell to our roster,” said head coach Tim Kendrick. “He’s an explosive athlete, who gets to the basket and can really shoot it. We really believe he’ll flourish in our system at both ends of the floor.”
Tate’s consistency and ability to score at an efficient clip were important attributes that peaked the Storm’s interest. In his three collegiate years, the Dolomite, Alabama native was a deadeye from the field where he shot 57.9, 59.1 and 52.6 per cent, respectively. That has to be music to Kendrick’s ears, whose team finished second to last in field goal percentage (44 per cent).
“I take smart shots and I score when I think it’s the right thing to do to help the team win,” Tate said. “I’ve been efficient everywhere I’ve played and it’s going to be more of the same in the NBL.”
Tate is a proven winner, whose skillset match what the Storm are trying to build. If he brings that level of success to the Island, then there’s a real possibility that a championship is on the horizon.
“I know how to win. And I want to win here.”