February 5, 2020

Meekins Enjoys Memorable Senior Night, Starring as PDS Boys’ Hoops Beats Pennsauken

NIGHT TO REMEMBER: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Jomar Meekins enjoys the moment with his parents, Christine and Lawrence Meekins, as he was introduced at the program’s Senior Night pregame celebration last Wednesday evening. Star guard Meekins scored 11 points on the night as PDS defeated Pennsauken Tech 72-32. The Panthers, who fell 65-63 to the Shipley School (Pa.) last Saturday to move to 10-7, will be starting play in the state Prep B tournament where they are seeded second and host seventh-seeded Newark Academy on February 8 in an opening round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While Jomar Meekins beamed during the loud ovation he received when introduced during the Senior Night pregame celebration for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team last Wednesday, that wasn’t the highlight of the event for him.

Instead, the most meaningful aspect of the night for guard Meekins came in getting joined in the starting lineup by his four classmates, Lucas Green, Jaylin Champion-Adams, Tazee Mahjied, and Alan Norcott as the Panthers hosted Pennsauken Technical School.

“I have been here for four years so I am really glad to finally get to play with my boys, my brothers,” said star guard Meekins. “It was really nice to have all five start, I love them.”

Meekins went on to have a nice game, tallying 11 points as PDS defeated Pennsauken Tech 72-32.

“I was feeling pretty good in the warm up,” said Meekins. “I was out here with my brothers, I had to perform.”

With PDS coming off disappointing losses to Pennington (75-63 on January 27) and Peddie (71-69 on January 25), cruising to the victory over Pennsauken was something that the Panthers needed as they look ahead to postseason play.

“This is a really good confidence booster, we are looking to keep going from this game,” said Meekins.

In assessing his PDS experience, Meekins is proud to see the gains in confidence across the board.

“It has been great seeing everyone’s growth, seeing everyone growing as a player, as a leader,” said Meekins. “I think it is really positive for them.”

Having been on the varsity squad since his freshman year, Meekins has looked to be a positive force in his final campaign.

“I am definitely a leader this year,” said Meekins. “Last year we had Diggy [Coit]; he was the leader and I had to step up into his role.”

PDS head coach Doug Davis was not surprised to see Meekins step up on Senior Night.

“That is what he has been doing for us all year,” said Davis. “He has been hitting big shots, he has been hitting long distance shots all year so it is nothing new.”

Meekins helped set the tone with his shot-making, draining a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter as PDS outscored Pennsauken 20-4 to build a 30-12 halftime lead.

“We just want to make sure that we are being consistent, making more shots,” said Davis, who got 13 points from Champion-Adams with Green chipping in 12.

Davis credited the squad’s Class of 2020 with making the most out of things in the win.

“It is a special group; they are a bunch of good guys,” said Davis. “They love each other; they actually love playing together.  To see them all starting and having them out here as captains was really good. It is something they will all remember the rest of their lives.”

The most memorable moments of the game came when reserve players Mahjied and Norcott tallied their first buckets on the night in the waning moments of the contest.

“We got all of our seniors to score, that was awesome,” said Davis.

“Alan hitting that fadeaway jump shot; he is a workhorse and he really worked for that. Then Tazee getting that layup and everybody going crazy. It was really good.”

It was good for PDS to pull away to the lopsided victory. “We just needed energy and it was changing up some of the defenses,” said Davis.

“It was getting the guys moving a little bit; we wanted to get the energy going.”

With PDS starting play in the state Prep B tournament where it is seeded second and hosts seventh-seeded Newark Academy on February 8 in an opening round contest, Davis is looking to see his players bring an even higher level of energy.   

“It is just all being on one page, having one goal, and everybody coming as hard as we can,” said Davis, whose team  fell 65-63 to the Shipley School (Pa.) last Saturday to move to 10-7.

“I tell them to go as hard as you can for as long as you can. Kobe passed away and that hurt our team a lot. It is getting our guys to just be focused, just play as hard as you can, and give everything you have got for as long as you can.”

Meekins, for his part, is ready to give his all in his final weeks with the program.

“We just need to focus hard and play our basketball,” said Meekins. “We can’t let other people influence us. We have got to focus on ourselves and keep it close within the brotherhood.”