Jeremiah Pope is only a rising junior at Clinton High School, but the 6-foot-2-inch wing has been nothing short of impressive in two seasons wearing the Dark Horse uniform.
Pope is fresh off a season where he made All-County, All-Conference and All-Region teams. He was also named County Player of the Year in the 2014-15 season. His good play, and potential to become even better, already have three ACC schools recruiting him, as Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech have shown great interest in the Dark Horse.
“Jeremiah, first of all, is an outstanding young man, on and off the court,” said Clinton’s head basketball coach Randy Jordan. “He is a very good student and involved in a number of extracurricular activities at CHS. He has a strong family support in all areas of life. Jeremiah can be as great of a player as he wants to be. He is blessed with size, speed, strength, leaping ability and an almost textbook jump shot.”
With three ACC schools already eyeing him, Pope still has two seasons to draw even more interest from Division 1 programs. As Jordan said, if he keeps improving and working hard, he will be able to attend whichever college he wants.
“In my opinion, he has D-1 talent,” said Jordan. “If he continues to work on his game at both ends of the court, stays in the weight room, and keeps doing the job academically, he can have his choice of where he wants to go to college. The bottom line is, he is a real pleasure to be around every day.”
As for Pope, the relationship with coach Jordan was questionable from the start.
“I had just never been pushed like that before on the basketball court,” said Pope of the first time he practiced with Jordan. “It didn’t take long for me to realize though that he really wanted the best for me, not only in high school or in high school basketball, but Coach Jordan really cared about me, and that meant a lot. We now have a very strong relationship that means a lot to me.”
Pope started playing basketball when he was just a small child, and attributes the interest of playing to his father.
“I remember watching my dad play when I was little, and wanted to be able to do the things he could do when I watched him play,” said Pope.
The rising junior now has been an offensive machine for the Dark Horses, no performance being better than a 39-point outing at Midway last winter, a game in which Pope said he just couldn’t miss.
Pope noted that he would like to improve himself on the defensive end of the floor.
“I always hear that I am such a great offensive player, but I don’t want to be known for that,” he said. “I want to become a complete player to the best of my ability, and that starts by becoming a better defender.”
Before basketball starts however, Pope will begin football season. It will be his first season as a part of the varsity program at Clinton, and he expects to make an immediate impact playing wide receiver and safety.
“There really is a sense of unfinished business around the team,” said Pope. “I feel like they were the best team last year, but just couldn’t get it done in the state championship. We are really hoping to hang a banner this time.”