of his basketball career in December, 2000, after he became the first --
and only -- CV athlete to capture the most valuable player award twice in
the Falcon Classic Basketball Tournament.
He'd been asked where he figured he'd rank in an upscale program
that's had former players move on to taste success at the collegiate and
"I'm pleased to be a part of this program's great tradition," said
Jenkins, who produced 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots in
CV's 58-44 victory against L.A. Marshall on Dec. 15.
"Hopefully, I'll be remembered with the all-time greats who have
played here. These guys come in each November and talk about tradition,
and they tell us to never let a day go by without thinking about it.
Maybe when they talk to future players they'll mention my name."
The 19-year-old Jenkins, who moved on to San Jose State University
where he played 30 games this past season, died Thursday in Bridgeport.
Law enforcement officials with the Mono County Sheriffs Department said
Jenkins was found dead at the bottom of Rush Creek Falls in the Agnew
Lake area outside of Mammoth Lakes.
Police said Friday that Jenkins' death appeared to be accidental.
Among other things, Jenkins will be remembered for his sports
Jenkins had the God-given talent on the court to average a team-best
22.9 points per game during the 2000-2001 season.
He had the power to record an All-American time in a Southern
He spent three years on the school's basketball varsity program and
ranks sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,548 points. Jenkins was a
two-time Pacific League Most Valuable Player and became the first Falcon
since Brock Jacobsen in 1995 to garner consecutive All-CIF Southern
Jenkins' energy never waned once the basketball season concluded.
Neither did the accolades.
He had enough in reserve to become the fastest male swimmer among all
high school athletes in Southern California in 2001. He captured the 50-
and 100-yard freestyle events for a second consecutive year at Long
Beach's Belmont Plaza in Division II competition.
Jenkins clocked 20.47 seconds in the 50 and 44.65 in the 100.
Jenkins' brother John and sister Mary Ellen set the bar for James to
uphold CV's swimming tradition. Jenkins made sure the program was in good
standing before he left for San Jose State.
"There was a lot of pressure from my family to continue swimming
throughout high school and to do well, but never to the point that it was
overwhelming," Jenkins said in May, 2001. "You could call it supportive
pressure, I guess.
"I don't pride myself around all of my swimming achievements. I don't
base my career or myself on my swimming success."
Jenkins, a two-time News-Press Male Athlete of the Year and Player of
the Year in basketball, took his crowning achievements with grace and
"[I hope I made] an influence on the basketball and swimming
programs," Jenkins said in May, 2001. "Putting forth the effort to
achieve success.... putting up numbers, putting up wins, never backing
down, a tough player and a tough person."