BROOKLYN — Virginia sophomore guard Ty Jerome is no stranger to performing on the pressure packed courts of New York City. And no, we’re not talking about the hardwood in Madison Square Garden and at Barclays Center.
A native of New Rochelle, the Iona Prep product earned some serious street cred on the asphalt of some of The Big Apple’s most fabled and intense chain-link crucibles, like Rucker and Dyckman Parks, where he was often the only white face on the court.
Highlights of the Virgina bound Iona Prep star
During one summer tournament, he was bestowed the nickname “Milk”. To paraphrase Audio Two, Milk wasn’t just out there chillin’, he was often top billin‘.
After averaging 13.9 minutes per game in a reserve role as a freshman last year, Jerome has started every game this season for the No.1 ranked Cavaliers (30-2) while averaging 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
Against Boston College on December 30th, he hit 11 of his 13 shots, including going 6-for-7 from deep, while scoring 31 points in U.Va’s 69-68 win.
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In another one-point win, this time against Louisville in their next-to-last regular season game, he scored 21.
In Virginia’s system, he’s a perfect fit because of his hoops intellect, vision, perimeter defense and ability to score the ball. At 6-foot-5, he enjoys a height advantage over most college point guards. And using that NYC playground education, he knows how to penetrate the paint to either squeeze off his own shot or send a sweet pass in the direction of his big men.
In Friday night’s 64-58 semifinal win over Clemson, Jerome’s value wasn’t as a scorer, but rather, in true NYC point guard style, as a distributor. He dished out a season-high 10 assists as fellow sophomore guard Kyle Guy led the Cavs with 15 points.
Virginia, who reached 30 wins for the fourth time in school history, is looking to add a third ACC Tournament title to the ones they won in 1976 and 2014.
Louisville vs. Virginia: Cavaliers guards Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome combined for 38 points as No. 2 Virginia outlasted Louisville 74-64 Wednesday night. Devon Hall and Marco Anthony also scored in double figures for the Hoos who improved to 10-0 in ACC play. Ray Spalding led the Cardinals with 16 points and 7 rebounds in the loss.
Jerome, is more than happy to be doing his thing in his home city, especially after advancing to the tourney title game.
Its so special to me, because I get to have all my family there, he said.
And in Virginia’s system of egalitarian excellence, his play means the world to his team’s hopes of both winning this ACC Tournament, and a deep March Madness run that they hope is soon to follow.