‘The coach kept it real with me’: Sophomore guard puts faith in men’s basketball program


Baswanth Naidu/The Sunflower

Sophomore gaurd Jaron Pierre Jr. drives down inside Charles Koch Arena on Nov. 2. Pierre had five points, two assists and two steals in a 83-52 win against Newman in an exhibiton game.

Sophomore guard Jaron Pierre Jr. looks forward to success on a court far from home. Born and raised in New Orleans, he joined the Shocker’s basketball team after transferring from the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I visited Wichita and the coach kept it real with me,” Pierre said. “That’s what pulled me here.”

Pierre plans on using his success in this season’s tournament to further his personal goals for his basketball careers.

“My own goals [winning] include the AAC conference and making it to the NBA,” Pierre said. “I want to make a name for myself in the tournament.”

Pierre makes a conscious effort to achieve his personal and professional goals in life off the court. Like many athletes, he gears his daily routine towards achieving his goals.

“I’m a cool guy, I like calm stuff,” Pierre said. “I have to keep the same routine to keep my success going. I stretch in the mornings, exercise and check on my school work. But it’s all about basketball.”

Before achieving his goals beyond Shocker basketball, Pierre plans on developing his mindset and personal skills through interactions with his teammates during this season.

“I want to improve my leadership skills and become more of a team player,” Pierre said. “That means passing the ball even if a shot is open because something good will come out of it.”

Each player has personal motivators that keep their head in the game. Pierre credits his discipline to his mother, as well as his transferring to play with the Shockers. His family’s past struggles play a significant role in his motivation on the court.

“My mother picked the visit for me,” Pierre. “I grew up a mother’s boy. My father passed away when I was younger. I pursue my dreams to create everlasting success for my family.”

The absence of New Orleans’ culture has led to some homesickness for Pierre. However, his plans for the future keep him positive and open to opportunity.

“I had been down there for too long,” Pierre said. “But home is always going to be home. “I definitely miss the food.”

Pierre’s definition of success is not just about scoring points and winning games. One of his larger objectives is to exceed expectations and leave a legacy with the Shocker basketball program.

“I want our names to be remembered,” Pierre said. “People will say they did something that we didn’t expect, but they did it.”