Hedgeman commits to Cajuns

With the start of the NCAA’s spring signing period just days away, San Jacinto College forward Jevonlean “Jay” Hedgeman has decided to continue his playing career with the Ragin’ Cajuns in Louisiana!

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound Hedgeman committed to the Cajuns over Long Beach State, Cal State ,Fullerton, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Wagner. After visiting Long Beach State p(official) and Louisiana (unofficial) in the fall, he returned to Lafayette two weeks ago for an official visit when the Cajuns played Evansville in the CIT quarterfinals.

“The big thing was the relationships I developed with those coaches,” Hedgeman said. “It was obvious they cared about me. Everybody else was talking about helping me get to the pros and they told me how they were going to help me get my degree. That really matters to me. It showed me they care about more than just basketball there.”

As a sophomore this season Hedgeman was All-Region XIV South Zone honorable mention after averaging 10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 assists for a 28-6 team that advanced to the NJCAA Division I national tournament. He was fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), eighth in steals, ninth in free throw percentage (.766) and 10th in rebounding for Scott Gernander, a former player and graduate assistant under Cajuns coach Bob Marlin at Sam Houston State.

In league play Hedgeman averaged 11.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 assists and made 52.4 percent of his field goals, 32.4 percent of his 3-pointers and 78.1 percent of his free throws. He finished fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3) and was sixth in rebounding, ninth in steals, 10th in free throw percentage and 12th in field goal percentage.

Hedgeman, who recorded seven double-doubles this season, had 12 points and six steals in a loss to Columbia State Community College in the NJCAA Division I tournament. San Jac has several other college prospects, including All-America guard/Eastern Michigan pledge Willie Mangum, Arkansas State-bound guard Donte Thomas and Delaware State guard commitment Dana Raysor.

“He’s more of a hybrid player than a traditional four-man,” San Jac assistant coach Albert Talley Jr. said. “He is an athletic 6-7 guy who can face up and put the ball on the ground and rebound the ball really well. He can also shoot the 3 and led us in assist-to-turnover ratio. I don’t know if he’s going to be a top-two scoring guy, but he’s going to make you guard him and go rebound the ball.”

As a freshman Hedgeman averaged 7.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals and shot 50.6 percent from the floor as San Jac went 23-8. He made the All-District 22-5A first team as a senior at Pearland High School in metro Houston after racking up 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

“He’s a super-athletic kid,” Talley said. “The big thing is he needs to get in the weight room and put some size on. He has a big upside because of that.”

Talley added Hedgeman is a solid addition for the Cajuns. Hedgeman plans to sign during the NCAA’s spring signing period, which is April 15 to May 20.

“I think it will be a good fit for him and for them,” Talley said. “He’ll be good there because of how they play. He’s a good kid, a coachable kid and is not going to give them any trouble.”

Hedgeman is relieved to have his decision out of the way.

“It’s like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “Now I don’t have to worry about anything else and can focus on getting ready to play there. I’m also excited I’ll be only four hours away from my family so they can come and see me play.”

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