Jimmy Whitt Jr. returns to Columbia for hometown encore
Jim Whitt Sr. never imagined he would see one of his children play another competitive game in Columbia.
However, the pieces aligned for the youngest of his six children, Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt Jr., to play Saturday at Mizzou Arena in what likely represents his last live action in his hometown.
Whitt will be part of the Razorbacks squad hoping to hand Missouri men’s basketball its third straight Southeastern Conference loss.
The fifth annual Rally for Rhyan game tips off at 2:30 p.m., and Whitt will be represented by plenty of family and friends in the crowd as he hopes to go out a winner in the town where it all began.
“Just to leave a little bit of a legacy in my hometown because I know they've always supported me even though I didn't choose to stay home, I chose to leave and to play against the hometown team,” Whitt said. “When I went back my freshman year, they all supported me. So I think that's pretty cool to get that hometown support no matter where you're at.”
Whitt was an all-state selection during his final three years at Hickman, where he posted career totals of 2,411 points and 399 steals, both Kewpie records. During his senior season at Hickman, he averaged 30.6 points per game.
Whitt said his years at Hickman were “some of the best of my life.”
“He was obviously the leader of the basketball team, but he was just a great team player,” said DJ Johnson, Whitt’s high school coach. Johnson coached the Kewpies from 1992 to 1995 and then again from 2010 to 2016. “He knew when to take over a game. He knew when other people were hot and he got him involved. He was just a great kid to have in the program and very coachable.”
Whitt’s final two seasons as a Kewpie, 2013 and 2014, saw him be an integral part of two runs to the MSHSAA state tournament.
His junior year, Hickman lost in the state semifinals, but during his senior season, it advanced to the state championship before falling in overtime to Missouri alumnus Jordan Barnett and Christian Brothers.
Johnson has known the current Razorback standout since he was in third grade. Even then, Johnson knew of Whitt’s potential, as he would play with older students and more than hold his own.
“As he continued to develop from elementary to middle school, and of course, his outstanding high-school career — probably one of the best ever as far as Hickman’s concerned — he just continued to work hard to develop,” Johnson said of Whitt. “He had great athleticism but also great height, great basketball IQ along with a great work ethic. I just knew that he was going to be extremely successful at whatever he did regarding basketball.”
Whitt’s most recent time playing in Columbia before Saturday was during his freshman season at Arkansas. But after his first collegiate campaign, he transferred out of Fayetteville and landed at SMU.
“Each and every year, I've done it wherever I'm at. I look at where I'm at, my goals and everything, and see if there's another opportunity for me or if my current position is where I want to be,” Whitt said. “And I think it just came down to me personally, I felt like it was a better opportunity for me and a better fit for me to go to SMU.
“... I spent three years at SMU, so every year I was there, I asked myself the same question. I think that’s something everyone should do at the end of each year: see where you are and see where you want to go and try to make decisions based on that.
“And that's why I decided to come back to Arkansas, because I felt like again, after those three years, this was my best opportunity to progress in my future and what I want to do.”
Whitt hasn’t thought much about what’s to come after this season ends, as he’s dialed in on contributing to Arkansas and wants the full scope of how his last Division I season goes before planning his next move.
Whitt, who scored 12.3 points per game last season while leading the Mustangs with averages of 6.4 rebounds and four assists, declared for the 2019 NBA Draft last March.
He never hired an agent and decided to transfer back to Arkansas for his final college season.
With Eric Musselman’s hiring to the helm of the Razorbacks, Whitt found the right one-season fit. Musselman previously coached at Nevada, where for a few seasons, Whitt’s older brother Marcus Whitt, a Hickman and Columbia College basketball alumnus, was a graduate assistant.
Marcus Whitt was on the Nevada bench for the Wolfpack’s Sweet 16 appearance in 2018.
“We're really proud of the work that he's put in this year and we're looking forward to seeing him play this weekend,” Jim Whitt Sr. said of his youngest son. “... I never thought that he would ever be at Arkansas (again) and have a chance to come back (to Columbia) and play before his college days were over.”
And as Whitt’s homecoming commences, he would rather do the little gritty things to make sure Arkansas can win rather than have a flashy, high-scoring game in a loss.
He wants to soak up as much as he can in front of those who have seen him dribble and shoot longer than most everyone else.
“I've been trying to enjoy every moment as much as possible,” Whitt said. “I think for every grad or senior in the country, it starts to become a real thing because it's sort of a different reality for us than everybody else on the team just because you know how valuable each game is.
“... When you think of it like that, you want to come out there, give it all you have. It's one of those things I think for guys in my position, it's something you think about. It gives you the extra motivation to play hard.”
Jimmy Whitt to play in Dos Equis 3x3U Championship
INDIANAPOLIS — After being denied the opportunity last year due to COVID-19, former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt Jr., will participate in this year’s Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship in Indianapolis. The event starts today and his team will play twice – versus ACC-Bis South at 4:50 pm (CT) and again at 5:50 pm (CT) versus Big Ten-MAC.
Whitt will play for the SEC-SoCon team in Pool B with Wendell Mitchell (Texas A&M), Clay Mounce (Furman) and Ross Cummings (Mercer).
The 2021 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship features a combination of seniors from the Class of 2021 and standouts from the Class of 2020 looking to reemerge on the national scene after having their season cut short last year.
The third-annual 3-on-3 event will be closed to the public this year due to safety protocols.
In total, the 64 players, who are recent college players pursuing professional opportunities, represent each Division I conference. The 16, four-man teams boast an impressive collection of talent that will make for three exciting days of basketball as teams compete for their share of the $150,000 prize pool.
Teams will play each squad in their respective pool on Friday and Saturday before all 16 will head to the knockout stage on Sunday, with the top two teams from each pool receiving byes to the quarterfinals. The winning team from each pool play game will win $1,000, victories in the first two knockout rounds will net another $1,000, a quarterfinal win is worth $5,000, a semifinal triumph is another $10,000, while the team that takes home the Tournament title will add $50,000 to their winnings.
Jimmy Whitt Jr., who began his career at Arkansas before transferring to SMU, returns to the Razorbacks for the 2019-20 season as a graduate transfer.
Received his B.S. in Sport Management from SMU in May 2019 … Is pursuing an M.Ed. in Adult and Lifelong Learning.
For his three-year collegiate career, Whitt has played in 95 games, starting 73, while scoring 910 points (9.6 avg.) with 417 rebounds (4.4 avg.), 268 assists (2.8 avg.) and 123 steals (1.3 avg.).
2018-19 (Jr. at SMU): Started all 30 games he played, missing two due to a shoulder injury … Averaged 12.3 points (25th AAC) … Led team in rebounds (6.4 avg., 8th AAC),; offensive rebounds (2.1 avg., 12th AAC), assists (4.0 avg., 9th AAC), assist/to ratio (2.7 avg., 2nd AAC & 25thNCAA); and steals (1.4 avg., 10th AAC)… Only player in AAC rankings for points (30 ranked), rebounds (20 ranked), assists (15 ranked) and steals (15 ranked) … Was one of 26 in the nation with at least one triple-double and had five double-doubles … Scored double-digits 20 times with seven games with 8-plus rebounds, 11 games with 5-plus assists and 7 games with 3-plus steals … Made the AAC Weekly Honor Roll four times (Dec. 3, Dec. 24, Jan. 7 and Jan. 14) … Triple-double included 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists, with three steals, in the win vs McNeese State (first triple-double at SMU since 1999 and fifth time in program history) … Recorded career highs of 24 points and 12 FG made against #23 Cincinnati in the AAC Quarterfinal … Had 23 points against UCF (2/10) … Notched 20 points with six assists and six rebounds against #17 Houston (1/16) … Recorded fifth double-double of the season and third in a row with 10 points and 10 rebounds in win over Tulsa (1/12) … Scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds at UConn (1/10) … Recorded a then career-high 22 points (all in the first half) with six rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win versus Cornell ……Had 18 points on 9-10 FGs, including the game-winner with 4.2 seconds left, in the 77-76 win versus Wright State … Pumped in 20 points (8-13 FG) with six rebounds, five assists and a steal versus Lipscomb.
2017-18 (RSo. at SMU): Started all 33 games … Averaged 10.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists (8th AAC) and 1.8 steals (3rd AAC) … His 2.1 assist/turnover ratio ranked third in the AAC … Named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll twice (Dec. 18 and Jan. 29) … Scored 10+ points in 16 games … Had 16 points with six assists and five rebounds versus #12 Wichita State … Grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds with nine points, three assists, two blocks and two steals at Tulsa (2/1) …Totaled 18 points (9-14 FG) and a career-high five steals (including 4 straight possessions) in the win vs Tulane (1/20) … Had 16 points (8-9 FG), four rebounds, three steals and two assists in win versus Boise State … Posted career highs of 19 points and eight assists with six rebounds and three steals versus New Orleans …Added 14 points, four rebounds and three steals in the win vs #14 Southern California … Had eight points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 36 minutes in the win versus #2 Arizona.
2016-17 (So. at SMU): Sat out due to NCAA transfer rules.
2015-16 (Fr. at Arkansas): Named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll … Played in all 32 games, starting 10 … Averaged 6.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.6 steals … Converted 79.2 percent of his free-throws … Scored a season-high 15 points in 20 minutes against Missouri, going 7-for-11 with three rebounds and one steal … Pulled down a season-best five rebounds against Charleston Southern … Finished with nine double-digit scoring performances, including five in his first six collegiate games.
High School: A three-time All-State selection … Rated as a No. 55 overall prospect and 4-star recruit by Rivals.com … Ranked No. 1 in the state of Missouri by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Nominated to play in the 2015 McDonald’s All-American game … Scored 825 points during his senior year, averaging 30.6 per game … … Ended his high school career with a school-record 2,411 points and 399 steals … As a junior, participated in the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team mini-camp … Attended the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
Jimmy Whitt is a basketball player born on January 09, 1997, in Columbia (MO). His height is six foot three (1m90 / 6-3). He is a point guard who most recently played for Arkansas Razorbacks in NCAA.
Basketball stats abbreviations
- MIN: Minutes played
- 2M-2A: Two-points field goal made, attempted
- 3M-3A: Three-points field goal made, attempted
- FG%: Field goal percentage
- 1M-1A: Free throws made, attempted
- 1%: Free throw percentage
- Or: Offensive rebounds
- Dr: Defensive rebounds
- Reb: Total rebounds
- Ast: Assists
- Stl: Steals
- Blk: Blocks
- Fo: Personal fouls
- Pts: Points scored
- Eff: Efficiency
Jr jimmy whitt
.Adrio Bailey and Jimmy Whitt Jr. Post After 66-43 Win Over North Texas
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