Small town, big aspirations

Jenkins reflects on transition to Har-Ber

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Making the hour and 36 minute drive May 2018, junior Lawson Jenkins is ready for the 7a West. Growing up in Valley Springs, Arkansas, making a move to Northwest Arkansas is quite a big change.

“It’s different here because the population is way bigger and it’s more competitive,” Lawson said. The Valley Springs School District has an enrollment of fewer than 300 students in K-12. Currently, the junior class, including Lawson, has 722 students, more than twice the size of the entire Valley Springs School District.

The move to this side of the state came after his mother, Kimberly Jenkins, was hired to fill the position as the new Lady Wildcat head basketball coach.

Lawson is here to play a big role in the boy’s basketball team. Last season Lawson averaged more than 20 points per game for the Tigers, who competed in the 2A conference. Lawson hopes of helping the Wildcats win their 3rd consecutive conference championship.

“I believe we can make a run this year and compete for a state championships,” Lawson said.

The boys head coach, Scott Bowlin, believes Lawson will be very valuable to the team because of his work ethic and his height. Lawson stands at 6 feet 6 inches.

“He is very good offensively. He can score any time he desires,” Coach Bowlin said. “He doesn’t get enough credit for his passing. He isn’t worried about his own stats. He’s more focused about getting a win,” Bowlin said.

Coach Jenkins says her son is dedicated to the sport.

“He researches a lot of things about the game, he’s always watching youtube videos and the game never leaves his mind,” she said.

Having a mom as a basketball coach, Lawson has heard every motivational slogan his mom has ever preached. Coach Jenkins talks about staying “PHD,” poor, hungry and driven.

“It’s to remind him that he can’t think he’s that good all the time,” she said. “He needs to work and still push himself because he can always get better.”

Off the court, Lawson spends his time playing video games, playing ping pong, watching youtube or just hanging out with friends.

“I just like to hang out with my teammates and friends and have fun and just laugh,” Lawson said. “Having fun is a must.”

Lawson has adapted to Northwest Arkansas very well, as he enrolled at HBHS and began working out with the basketball team in January to get acclimated to the Wildcat way. He’s already received an offer to play basketball at the college level from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. 

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