It’s a Wrap!
Those were the words Gonzaga College High School basketball coach Steve Turner screamed out when he saw his former player Kris Jenkins sink in a three-pointer at the buzzer that carried Villanova to a 77-74 win over North Carolina in the biggest stage of them all, the National Championship.
“Once he got it and let it go, I screamed, it’s a wrap,” coach Turner said in an interview with WJLA’s sports reporter Scott Abraham on April 5th.
During that final play, Kris inbounded the ball to Villanova senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Once Arcidiacono got the ball passed mid court, he saw Jenkins wide open and passed it to him to sink in the dagger that struck all Tar Heels fans in the heart.
“Knowing Kris, I knew he wanted to take the last shot,” coach Turner said. “It was a blessing for him that Ryan was a senior that understood the moment and found one of his teammates wide open.”
Kris Jenkins played four years at Gonzaga before going to Villanova. During his time with the Purple Eagles, Jenkins was known for making big time shots, so for Steve Turner this was nothing new.
“I have seen him make that shot so many times,” Turner said. “He hit game winning shots like that for us when he was at Gonzaga.”
In the MLK Hoopfest Classic back on January 16, 2012, Kris made a three point basket at the buzzer to beat Patterson (MD) and their top player Aquille Carr 75-73. One of Jenkins teammates missed a three pointer at the corner but another Gonzaga player tip the ball out to Kris for the game winning basket.
Seeing what Kris Jenkins has done in the National Championship and throughout this season has made coach Turner and the entire Gonzaga community very proud. Very few schools can say that they have an alumni that’s made a game-winner in the National Championship. Steve Turner even got a little emotional after he saw Kris make history.
“When you see a kid that has worked so hard and has gone through all the things he has gone through growing up, seeing him get that opportunity, you just feel for him and that emotion came out last night,” Steve said. “I cried a bunch of tears.”
Kris has been a very humble player throughout his high school and college career. With him being at the top of the world right now, it may be hard for him not to get over his head. But Kris strong family connection should keep him humble and hungry.
“He has a big strong family that has kept him grounded and that’s why he had a opporunity to be in that moment,” Steve said. “They have prepared him for that and taught him to be a guy that’s hungry and more importantly be a guy that’s humble.”