State Gazette Boys Basketball Defensive Player of the Year: Dyer County Choctaw Jamin Gauldin

Saturday, June 29, 2024
Dyer County Choctaw Jamin Gauldin


With an aggressive style of play which fits his team’s defensive strategy and also helps him be a spark on both ends of the floor for the Choctaws, Dyer County junior guard Jamin Gauldin has been named the State Gazette Boys Basketball Defensive Player of the Year for this past basketball season.

Dyer County Head Coach Derek McCord said Gauldin was a key part to the Choctaw defensive attack this past season.

“Jamin not only guarded the other team’s best player, but he wanted to defended the other team’s best offensive guard,” McCord said of the junior. “He did a really good job on it.

“He puts tremendous pressure on the basketball. He plays hard. He only knows one way to play the game and that’s to play it hard. I think he’s deserving.”

As a junior playing with a trio of good seniors, Gauldin improved his game by being more vocal on the court.

“Talking to his teammates more on the court,” McCord said. “We’ve challenged him with being a better communicator with his team.

“It’s that whole thing with leadership – as long as it’s done in the right way. With players, sometimes it means more coming from a player than a coach. We challenged him to be more of a communicator and to talk more.”

McCord stressed the standout point guards which have played for the Choctaws during his tenure dating back to the 2006-07 season have all been good communicators.

“Too many to name,” the Choctaw head coach added. “We’ve had a host of great point guards.

“Jamin takes so much pride in his defense as he does his offense. You want players to be able to defend their position.”

The way the Choctaws play – up tempo – has a direct effect on this.

“To be able to work the ball around on offense, make plays, and score on one end,” McCord explained. “And then, on the other end, be able to defend the other team’s point guard – that’s a challenging task.

“Jamin did a good job with it.”

After losing a trio of seniors to graduation, a lot may be expected of the team’s junior point guard as he enters his senior year.

“We hope he has a great senior year,” McCord added. “He’s one of the few starters we have returning. So, we’re expecting him to not only step up in his play but to step up in his leadership.

“Be a positive leader for him and be positive for his teammates. We’re hoping for all of that.”

One thing Gauldin brings to the court which doesn’t appear on the stat sheet is how he gets dives, deflections and back tips.

“He’s kind of been the engine that makes our car go the last couple of years,” Dyer County’s head coach said. “That’s the thing he brings.

“Jamin has that scorer’s mentality. That’s one of those things we’re going to challenge him with this year – to be more of a distributer. Jamin is not a selfish player but he does have that scorer’s mentality. That’s ok for a point guard to have that scorer’s mentality. But, to him to play a the next level – which I think he’s fully capable of – he may have to transition from a shoot-first to a pass-first kind of guy. I think he will make a really good college point guard.”

McCord added Gauldin has already garnered some attention from colleges, which has been helped by his defensive play.

“His defense on the floor and just how hard he plays,” McCord pointed out. “There’s a level of toughness to him.

“We can measure vertical jumps and we can measure height and weights but we can’t measure heart. He plays with a lot of heart.”

McCord added Gauldin is also fearless.

“The way he gets to the rim, he’s fearless,” McCord added. “That’s what you want in your point guard. And, we’ve had some good ones here.

“We’ve produced a lot of good point guards here.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: