Shooting for Mars: Senior leaves his mark on the team

Mercer Sullivan, Managing Editor

After four years on the RJ Reynolds basketball team, senior Jaben Mars is beginning to look back on his time with the team and forward to his basketball days ahead. Mars has played on the Reynolds varsity team for three years now and has made an impact in each and every game.

“His impact is felt on the court when he rebounds on both the offensive and defensive end,” Coach Randy Little said. “This helps the team in a lot of ways. He also is learning how to impact the game defensively when he is active and blocking shots.”

Little has coached Mars for the past two seasons and has seen is game improve dramatically. 

“I have seen him grow and develop his fundamentals,” Little said. “He has grown in confidence and his teammates has been a big part of his growth. He has also grown as an effective and proven post player this year.”

His days playing basketball however did not start with Reynolds, Mars began his basketball career at the age of four and has had his mom pushing him every step of the way. 

“I would say my mom has helped me throughout my basketball career, she has been motivating me and pushing me to do anything I want to exceed in,” Mars said. “If she notices that I’ve lost a little confidence of motivation after a bad game or practice, she encourages me and takes me to the gym to get better.”

Mars hopes to continue his basketball career in college, preferably at a Division I school but has yet to formally commit to any one school. Mars has been a leader on the Reynolds team and has been working to fill in the gaps after the team lost some critical seniors this past season.

“I’d say we overcome our losses by just practicing on things we couldn’t get the hang of during the games or we are just having trouble with,” Mars said. “There is lots of repetition to help us get a better understanding on our troubles.”

The Reynolds basketball program has worked to push Mars to be his best and has always kept the team centered around one firm goal.

“It’s fantastic to be a part of this program, everyone is family and everyone is on the same page about the main goal,” Mars said. 

Not only is Mars a proven leader on the court but in the classroom as well. Reynolds English teacher Ruth Sartin looks forward to Mars’ smile and enthusiasm that he brings to class everyday. 

“Jaben is a student I look forward seeing every morning,” Sartin said. “He always has a smile on his face and is probably one of the kindest students I have ever had. He is a role model. Jaben is definitely a leader in our school community and in my class. He is smart and competitive. I am really going to miss having him in class next semester.”

Jaben Mars is a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court and in the classroom. His passion and talent on the court is electric and is what makes him a leader for his team.

“My favorite part of watching Jaben play is when he uses a post move that he learned in practice and scores in the game with it,” Little said. “I enjoy watching him dunk in the game, this really energizes the team.”