Former hoopster Jolley leading German League in scoring

Zach Smart

Basketball has navigated Kevin Jolley well beyond his Cheverly, Md. roots.

Jolley, a gargantuan wing/post player, has played on some of the toughest courts throughout Washington, D.C. and nearly all of Maryland. The former QU standout’s post graduate/collegiate career featured stops in Maine, Kansas, and of course the cozy confines of the Burt Kahn Court.

Jolley is once again playing basketball, this time on the professional level, in an area far from home.

This fall, Jolley joined an elite society of Quinnipiac athletes who have gone on to pursue a career as a professional athlete. Jolley is playing for team Lawrence (SBR) in the SB DJK Rosenheim Pro Basketball Club in Germany.

Jolley says Rosenheim, Germany has been good to him.

“I love it here,” he said. “The people are very friendly.”

Fitting, as Jolley has the Rosenheim basketball community loving him too. He’s wowed fans with his manipulative post moves, mid-range jumper and rim-rattling dunks.

Jolley has embraced his new role as the team’s go-to-guy. He’s emerged into the league’s top scorer, averaging 31.5 points per game, fending off three-point assassin Greg Immink of CBW and Wandji Tchiegne of Arnold Perry (TGL) as the clear-cut scoring leader.

“I play 37 minutes per game here, coming from playing 11 last year at QU, so I have more chances to score,” he said.

As for the language barrier, Jolley is slowly learning his teammates and friends’ puzzling talk.

He admits to, however, feeling a bit left out during German conversation.

“The coach will talk and yell in German during the time outs. I’ll sit there and drink water and he’ll just turn to me and say ‘good job.’ It’s funny,” Jolley said.

Jolley, a generously listed 6-foot-5 small forward, executes a tough arsenal of post moves as well as alters shots on defense and pounds the glass for rebounds. A player of his ilk is a highly sought after product in a German league which features rangy and slender outside shooters. These shooters rarely pass up a jumper or three to attack the basket or create offense inside the key.

During his stay at Quinnipiac, Jolley was groomed as more of an interior banger than a swingman.

Having played the wing since stepping foot on a basketball court, it was a bit of an adjustment for him.

“I was used to scoring before I arrived at QU,” Jolley recalled. “I had to adjust to the role of what the coaches wanted me to do there.”

With one of college basketball’s leading scorers in former star Rob Monroe operating the offense, the Bobcats utilized Jolley as more of a big man down low his first year.

He was the NEC’s second-leading rebounder his junior season, averaging around eight caroms per game. Jolley is still hauling down rebounds. He’s averaging 12 to go with his 31.5 ppg. He’s a double-double waiting to happen.

Last season, Jolley’s minutes dwindled a bit, as he managed to play the 2005-2006 NEC campaign despite a torn ACL. However, he shouldered the burden of savior multiple times last season, stepping up while starting center Victor Akinyanju was sidelined with injury.

Jolley bulldozed his way to 16 points and nine boards, helping the ‘Cats to a 73-68 outlasting of St. Francis N.Y. on Feb. 2. He had four double-doubles while coming off the bench. As a captain, he transformed into a mentor for the team’s younger players.

Following graduation, Jolley did not want to conclude his career as a basketball player.

“I looked into a few other leagues in the states,” Jolley said.

He attended a veterans camp for Alex Wolff and the ABA’s Vermont Frost Heaves in Burlington, Vt. While there, Jolley played against former Vermont big man and NBA-prospect Taylor Coppenrath.

“I played very well but I thought it would be more long term if I played here in Europe,” Jolley said.

With his new niche in Germany, Jolley is loving life. He’s doing what he loves to do, flourishing in a big-time scoring role and making a nice living for himself in the process.

Though he’s quite far away, Jolley is right at home.