Pearl River’s Jaronn Wilkens earns NJCAA All-America selection
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — It has been nothing short of a storybook career for Pearl River men's basketball's Jaronn Wilkens (Biloxi). The forward got to add another page to his story Wednesday as he was named a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American Honorable Mention.
Wilkens' selection makes him the first men's basketball player to be named an All-American twice; the Biloxi native was named to the Honorable Mention team after the 2020-21 season.
"To say that our program is proud of Jaronn is an understatement," head coach Chris Oney said. "I think what he was able to accomplish in his three years here is something that will more than likely not be replicated. It's a testament to his hard work and him buying into the program and the coaches. He's done everything in his power to elevate us as a program."
Oney felt that Wilkens cemented his legacy with the selection.
"I've said it a thousand times, but I think he's one of the top warriors to ever play in the maroon-and-gold," he said. "What he's done for this program and this college will always be appreciated. I'm sure that five years from now his name will shoot to the top of the list for the hall of fame here at Pearl River."
BY THE NUMBERS The forward lands the award after proving to be one of the top players in the country once again this season. He led the Region 23 Champion Wildcats in both points-per-game with 12.4 and rebounds-per-game with 5.8. He also dished out 2.1 assists-per-game during the 2021-22 campaign.
A highlight of this season for Wilkens was his double-double in the Region 23 Championship Game against Meridian. In the contest, he tallied 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Wilkens was also named an All-American Honorable Mention last season after averaging 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Oney talked about the growth that he saw from Wilkens over his three seasons in a Wildcat uniform.
"His growth was amazing to witness to be honest," Oney said. "He played behind some really good players his first year but the next two years he really put us on his back and helped tote us to two state championships and a region championship. For me, it was something awesome to witness."
In 69 games at PRCC, Wilkens finished his career with 718 points, 10.4 ppg, 362 rebounds, 104 assists, 49 steals and 34 blocks.
ALL-AMERICANS Six Wildcats have been named All-Americans under the guidance of Oney. That list includes PRCC Hall of Famer Darral Willis, Jr. (Madison, Wis.; Madison Memorial), Eric Thornton, Jr (Canton; Murrah), Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches-Central), Tae Hardy (Ellenwood, Ga.; Believe Prep), Isaih Moore (Columbia, S.C.; Sumter) and Wilkens.