By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
Floor general - An individual with the ability to make great decisions on the fly with the basketball in their hands. They often dictate the flow of the game on both sides of the floor.
There are two type of point guards you meet in this world. One is a distributor. They swing the ball around the floor and make the right plays at the right time. The other is a floor general, or play maker. Floor generals not only run the plays, but they know how to bend the offense and make plays that no one else can see. The general is always a step ahead of the player guarding them mentally. Defensively, the floor general controls the game. They set the tone. They are fearless and unpredictable.
Jahsyni Knight is the definition of a floor general.
The Perth Amboy native has been a diehard fan of the game for a long as she can remember. “I started in first grade, but I started officially playing AAU basketball in the 3rd grade," said the crafty guard. Knight grasped concepts quickly and the hard work translated into success early in her career. While playing for the New Jersey Cardinals, she met Rutgers Prep coach Mary Klinger. From day one, it was a match made in heaven. When it came time to choose a high school, Knight knew instantly that she wanted to be a Lady Argonaut and play for Coach K. “Mary is a great coach with a lot of experience,” said Knight when speaking about coach Klinger. “She’s coached the Mcdonalds All American Game. She’s coached for Team U.S.A. She knows her stuff.” Coach Klinger spoke fondly of Jahsnyi as well, saying "coaching Jahsyni has been nothing but a pleasure," said Klinger. "I've known her since fourth grade. Even then you could tell she was gonna be a special player. Her athleticism and desire to be the best was seen even then."
As a freshman Knight hit the ground running, earning the starting point guard spot for The Argonauts. The savvy point guard credits her relationship with Coach Klinger as a huge factor to her success as a freshman. “From the door I was comfortable to the speed of the game,” said Knight. “I would say there was no real adjustment to the game on the high school level. I had been playing for her awhile and I was used to her.” Offensively, Knight is a player that uses all spots on the floor to create scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. “The thing that stands out to me the most about Jahsyni is her penetration,” said teammate Leilani Correa. “She gets to the rim and finishes, no matter the what the situation is.” If you sit down and talk basketball with Jahsyni, it's clear she has a great foundation and is a student of the game. She is most comfortable within a structured offense, but she knows when to break the rules to create scoring opportunities for others. "The part of her game that stands out to me the most offensively is her ability to get her own shot and get to the rim," said coach Klinger. While their are countless positives to Jahsyni offensively, Knight hangs her hat on defense. The fearless point guard has the rare ability to change the outlook of the game with the pressure she applies on the ball. Knight hit the box score in a big way on the defensive side of the floor, averaging three steals per game her freshman, sophomore and junior year. “Defense is my forte,” said Knight. “I like to set the tone early.”
During her junior year, Jahsyni hit a bump in the road. The talented point guard suffered got hurt, tearing her ACL. “quote.” Out for the year, Knight was forced to watch the rest of way. Jahsyni was sent through an emotional tailspin when she wasn’t able to attend the T.O.C. game against Franklin. "I wasn’t able to make it to the last game in person because I had my surgery,” said Knight. “I had to watch it live stream. It was hard not being there.” Watching The Prep fall to Franklin was all the motivation she needed to take things another level this off season. “I worked really hard this this summer in rehab to get myself back to 100 percent,” said Knight.
While the off season had it’s down spots, there was a lot of positive moments for Knight. A big one came in November, when she signed to the University of Pittsburgh. "I felt like they had a void at point guard and I could step in and help right away,” said Knight. The poised leader also spoke highly of the system and the coaching staff at Pittsburgh, saying “Their style of play fits me perfectly. Their coaching staff is great. Coach reminds me of Mary. She’s coached Team U.S.A. as well, so she is very well known.”
The hard work paid off big time, as Knight is scheduled to be back on the floor in the upcoming week. The fearless leader made it crystal clear what was on her agenda in our sit down. “My motivation was to get to that same spot we left off last year and push us further.” It’s no surprise that many have Rutgers Prep as one of the favorites to go all the way.
Get ready troops. The general is on her way back to run the show on the battlefield.