By Adam Brown
This season when the Ole Miss Rebels take the court, a former Oxford high school basketball star, junior Jarkel Joiner, will be joining them.
“I would like to give thanks to God first for putting me in this position,” Joiner said. “I am ready. Being able to play in front of my friends and family, I am pumped up.”
After his high school basketball career came to a close, Joiner signed on to play for former Ole Miss basketball coach Rod Barnes at CSU Bakersfield. In his sophomore campaign with Bakersfield, Joiner started all 34 games and became the first Roadrunner to lead the Western Athletic Conference in scoring during league play (18.6 ppg). He reset CSUB’s Division I single-season records for points (532), scoring average (15.6), field goals made (208), and field goals attempted (461).
Now, Joiner has made the decision to come back and play for Ole Miss.
Joiner said reasons for making the move included “being closer to home with my family, being able to play at a higher level, and getting experience and a chance to prove that you can play with the top competition around the world.”
Due to an NCAA transfer rule, Joiner was required to spend the 2019 season on the sidelines. Still, Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davi complimented his work ethic throughout the season.
“For the first year not being able to play competitive ball, it was a struggle,” Joiner said. “Always kept in the back of my mind it is going to go by fast, always be in the gym, getting better and learning the offense more. It was a great year. I got better.”
In his high school senior season, Joiner helped led the Chargers to the semifinals of the state playoffs. That season, he averaged 36.5 points per game, which made him fourth in the nation.
Joiner has built chemistry with his teammates heading into this season, including Devontae Shuler.
“Me and Devontae got really close, especially this year, since we are going to start playing together,” he said. “When Coach Case put us together in practice, it has been great. We are interchangeable at the one and the two. We both like to pick up the point guard and go get the ball. It is great, high energy and just love playing with each other.”
In the Rebels offense, Joiner can play a combination of point guard and shooting guard.
“Coach always emphasizes being inter changeable, being available,” Joiner said. “I will probably be playing the one and the two. Just being available for any position, especially during these times, you never know.”