Blackhawk Christian’s Jalan Mull named 2017-18 News-Sentinel.com Boys Basketball Player of the Year
Marc Davidson did not coach much when Jalan Mull was on the floor.
OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the Blackhawk Christian coach doesn’t shy away from singing the praises of his senior point guard and the hands-off approach he took with him at times this season.
“In some games this year we called lots of set plays, other games was more of a mix, but Jalan has a great understanding of when to ‘run a play’ and when to ‘make a play,'” said Davidson. “In our regional final game (against Gary 21st Century), we literally called two plays the entire game. Every other time down the floor, the play was ‘Jalan, go make the right play.'”
Mull made enough right plays to lead Blackhawk Christian to a 26-3 overall record and a trip to semistate in Class A. It was also enough for the senior point guard to earn The News-Sentinel Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors.
The season statistics for Mull are not necessarily eye-popping. His 13.9 points, 4.7 steals and 7.6 assists per game were steady but did not earn him nightly appearances on television and internet highlights. But what he did in being the captain of a Braves offense with a wealth of talent and skill was impressive.
For Mull, it was business as usual.
“I feel like always having trust in my teammates is big,” Mull said. “With all their dunks and three-pointers…they are the reason for a lot of my success.”
When Mull transferred from Northrop to Blackhawk Christian for his junior season, Davidson did not know much about what kind of player and person he was getting.
Turns out, he was getting someone with a strong work ethic and an intense desire to put in the work to get better.
“I can only judge from what we have seen the last two years, but he has worked extremely hard ever since I have known him,” Davidson said. “He is in the gym all the time and his hard work has paid off.”
Mull ascended to the starting point guard spot as a junior for the Braves, immediately bringing a vastly different skill set than the former starter, the graduated Riley Reimschisel. While Reimschisel was the type to be able to organize and facilitate the offense, it became evident fairly quickly that Mull could do that, but also be a guy who could create off the dribble and attack.
“It got to a point where the best thing that we could run at times (with Mull) was for him to just get past his man and make the right read,” Davidson said.
Mull set several program records despite playing just two years at Blackhawk. He is tops in career steals with 230 and is No. 2 on the career assists list with 463. The senior holds the top two single-season marks in both steals and assists and is No. 4 all-time in three-point percentage at over 41 percent.
“He is an old-school point guard in the mold of a Jason Kidd,” Davidson said. “He would rather get an assist than a bucket, which is very rare in today’s game. When your best player has that mentality, it really helps permeate through the entire team.”
Next year, Mull will take that mentality to Saint Francis, where he will look to take the Crossroads League by storm much like he did the area prep scene.
“Hopefully I can come in and get some minutes next year,” Mull said.
Davidson will surely be able to assure coach Chad LaCross that the Cougars’ offense is in good hands.
“He is going to be great at that level and that program,’ Davidson said.