Jarrell Brantley ’19 will never forget his first game as a Cougar starting as a freshman against South Carolina State. Over 4,000 excited CofC fans packed TD Arena for the start of the 2015–16 season.
“It was a little nerve-racking,” he says with a grin. “I had a lot of old friends and family cheering for me that night.”
The game was a homecoming for Brantley, who grew up in Charleston but left as a teenager to attend Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Mass. He decided to return home when Coach Earl Grant came calling.
In his first year at the College, Brantley was the Colonial Athletic Association Freshman of the Year. A nice honor, but he wanted more, so he continued to put in the extra hours of practice to improve his game. It paid off. In his sophomore and junior years, he earned a place on the All-CAA Second Team. In his senior year, he was First Team.
He is now in the College of Charleston record books. Brantley finished his career ranked third all-time in scoring (1,914 points) and fourth all-time in rebounding (967), becoming the fifth player with at least 1,500 points and 800 rebounds.
Now Brantley is setting his sights on going pro. He’s already off to a great start, having won the 2019 3X3U National Championship with three other CAA First Team players in front of a national audience in April and splitting the $100,000 grand prize.
“It is a little sad that I won’t ever put the Cougar uniform back on again,” he says, “but at the same time it’s a blessing because of how far I have come and how I have been able to grow at the College.”
(Editor’s note: Brantley became only the third Cougar drafted by the NBA in June 2019 and will play for the Utah Jazz.)
Featured image of Jarrell Brantley by Mike Ledford.