Jenieri Cyrus headed to Dartmouth
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 19, 2010 2:23 PM
Jenieri Cyrus' road to Division I basketball was not the traditional high school to college path.
The former Eastern Wayne standout made a stop at Charis Prep in 2009. That extra year of exposure helped him land an offer from Ivy League power Dartmouth after last season.
"I wanted to go to a place with high level academics as well as play Division I basketball," Cyrus said on Tuesday. "Dartmouth seemed like a good fit due to their record in the academic realm as well as on the basketball court."
Cyrus averaged 17 points per game his senior season at Eastern Wayne despite playing on a surgically-repaired ACL that was not 100 percent. Now the knee injury is well in the rear view mirror and Cyrus is excited about potentially earning a spot in the Big Green's rotation.
Known for his propensity to take and knock down the big shot, Cyrus switched gears and pointed out his defense as the primary reason why he thinks he can help his collegiate squad.
"Hustle and defense are what keep you on the floor and those are two things that I can contribute," said Cyrus. "The offense will come over time, but the first thing to stress is defense."
Cyrus is one part of a large recruiting class at Dartmouth. Seven new players will be making New Hampshire their home this fall. The group includes David Eads, a point guard from Austin, Tex., and James Herring, a small forward from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cyrus expects to spend most of his minutes at shooting guard.
"I can play the point, but I prefer to play off the ball," said Cyrus. "I'm sure the coaching staff will evaluate my game in practice and use me wherever they think that I fit best."
Cyrus developed his skill set as a three-year starter in New Hope under head coach Marvin Bowman. Though the team experienced some tough years in the win column, Cyrus credits Bowman as a big part of his success.
"I played junior varsity my freshman year and didn't have a great season by any means," Cyrus said. "But Coach Bowman saw potential in me and he brought me up to the varsity as a sophomore. He let me grow into my game and he helped manage my minutes after I had my knee repaired."
Cyrus' maturation continued at Charis Prep under head coach Carlos Peralta. Since making his intentions to play at Dartmouth known, Cyrus has spent his offseason working at the gym at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base with his father.
"I get up, and go lift and do conditioning in the mornings," said Cyrus, who plans to major in economics. "Then in the evening my dad and I go back and lift and shoot, maybe squeeze in a pickup game if there is anyone playing."
Cyrus reports to Dartmouth on Sept. 15.
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