Joiner seeks out NBA future


Vanessa Villalvazo

Sports Editor

From Mississippi to Bakersfield, Jarkel Joiner is on his way to hopefully going pro one day.

“We really liked what we saw, so coach Barnes then started actively and heavily recuriting him,” said assistant coach Jeff Conarroe.

Joiner grew up playing basketball and decided to bring his talent to CSU Bakersfield. He is a Sophomore guard for CSUB men’s basketball team.      

He played at Oxford High School where he was named 2017 Mississippi Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year by The Daily Journal. During his senior year he was fourth in the nation averaging 36.5 points per game.

His love for basketball started at a young age, 3 or 4, and he has been playing ever since. He remembers being a kid on a basketball team and playing tournaments. There is one tournament in specific that he will never forget. He remembers shooting the ball from what seemed close to half court, the ball hitting the roof, then going inside the net, and getting his team the win. 

Joiner received his first offer from CSUB when he was in 11th grade. When he finished high school he decided to take that offer and play for CSUB because he felt like they had the best interest for him.

“It felt like home a little bit, I was comfortable with the coaching staff, comfortable with the players, and everybody, they brought me in with open arms,” Joiner said.

During his freshman year at CSUB, he played in all 30 games and started in 27. This year, sophomore, he has played and is the only Roadrunner to start in all games.

“I feel like it’s kind of more pressure at home, but I crowd behind it so once you settle in its good. Away you come into their house so you know what to expect kind of and you just go in there and play freely,” Joiner said.

Leaving his family was hard for him because he knows that his family misses him, but he knows that they are proud of him for doing what he loves. His family does not come as often to the games, but he is expecting them to come to a game in February. Joiner likes everything about Bakersfield, but does miss his family’s home-cooked meals.

The CSUB men’s basketball team Western Athletic Conference tournament is on March 14-16 and the team is already preparing.

“We [are] just taking it one step at a time, practicing hard, and listening to what the coaches have to say,” he said.

After graduating, Joiner plans on playing basketball professionally for the National Basketball Association. 

“He’s a really driven person, he works hard and his hard work is very contagious,” teammate Justin Edler-Davis added. “The way he works, what he does on the court he can definitely be a professional,” he said.

Joiner reset the CSUB Division 1 record with 34 points on Jan. 24. During the game against California Baptist University on Jan 24., Joiner also had a career high of 14 field goals made.                                          

He was the WAC player of the week on Jan. 28 and was named College Sports Madness WAC Player of the Week on Jan. 21.

“Hopefully I can continue to play if God wants me to. I pray to him all the time and hope that’s what I can do.” Joiner added, “I’d be blessed to play on any team.”

Joiner looks up to professional basketball player, Damian Lillard who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

“That’s my favorite player and I think I try and imitate his moves and try to play like him,” Joiner said.

If he wasn’t playing basketball he thinks he would be cutting hair because that is what his dad does, but he can’t imagine himself doing something else that isn’t playing basketball.