|Jaushay Rockett intensely guarding his man in Mississauga's 109-90 win over London.|
Putting up 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists is just another day at the office for Jaushay Rockett.
The veteran forward putting together a Player of the Game performance in the Mississauga Power’s 109-90 victory over the London Lightning last night, however his role on the team is much more than that of a stat sheet stuffer.
“I feel like it’s my responsibility is to keep the guys together, keep them level headed and just let them know what’s going to happen before,” said Rockett to NBLCNET. “It’s all about keeping everyone on the same page.”
Standing at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds it’s easy to stereotype Rockett as just a bruiser that sets screens and does the dirty work under the boards… and that’s what catches most of his opponents off guard.
He has proven himself to be a matchup nightmare over the years with an ability to take smaller players into the low posts, bring bigger guys away from the basket into “no man’s land” where he can use his mid-range game or hit long bombs from beyond the arc while also being versatile enough to guard multiple positions on defence.
With that swiss army knife of skills, it’s hard for him to nail down an NBA players game he best resembles.
“I’ve never really thought about it,” said Rockett, “but people have told me because of my size and ability to handle the ball LeBron James, with the way I rebound and attack the ball Shawn Marion or the way I dribble the ball some will say Joe Johnson.”
“I just try to work on every part of my game and I’m just glad coach Julius is the coach he is because he likes that.”
Rockett is one of the few original players within the Power organization going all the way back to 2011-2012 season, when the team was located in Oshawa. Regardless of the situation that was going on around the franchise at that time, there was still a lot for him to take away.
“Those were some tough times but it was still a good experience,” said Rockett. “Each year I was there I got better regardless of what the situation was off the court, we had a good group of guys that just loved to play basketball.”
“It’s the same situation with my brothers on this team, I don’t even have to ask them to work hard because we’re all accountable for each other.”
One of his original teammates that has now rejoined the Power organization after a stint in Europe is guard Tut Ruach, part of what he calls “our superstar team” alongside the likes of Morgan Lewis, Omari Johnson, Brandon Robinson and Kevin Francis, there has been a lot of growth in Rockett’s game from those old Oshawa days.
“He’s calmer now,” said Ruach. “He has a mismatch at the position he plays, so he’d always be anxious to beat his guy but now he picks his spots. Knowing when to attack them vs. when to look for a better opportunity, when to stay in the offence vs. deviate from the plan.”
The Long Beach, California native has come a long way going all the way back to his collegiate days with The University of Alaska-Anchorage.
“I’ve improved a lot since then,” said Rockett. “I wasn’t able to shoot the three until my senior year.”
“I worked on the jumper because I was constantly double teamed, so I needed a way to make the game easier on myself. I would come to the gym everyday shooting this big ol’ basketball that barley fit in the net, it got to the point that when the season started I was averaging 35 points per game and then when they started doubling me I averaged 24 points per game.
“Looking at me now, that work ethic carries over because I don’t sleep. I feel I can get better everyday."