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Travis Jocelyn’s Basketball Journey


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Travis Jocelyn
In the fifth and seventh grades, Travis Jocelyn was denied acceptance to the local travel basketball team. Now he’s getting ready to play ball at a Division III school. The Verona High School senior overcame adversity to achieve his dream of becoming a college basketball player.

Jocelyn was about three years old when he showed an interest in basketball. In preschool, he played around with a hoop that was in the classroom, and even went in a little early to play in the morning. Although he obviously exhibited a premature passion for the sport, he didn’t start playing competitively until he was in the second grade, joining a Verona Recreation Department team.

Basketball was not the only sport Jocelyn played. Baseball was a part of his agenda from kindergarten all the way to freshman year, as well as football from third grade to sixth grade. Basketball, however, trumped all sports, pushing him to quit baseball to focus on it.

Just like any other high school student, Jocelyn says his social life was somewhat of a distraction in his basketball career. “There were opportunities to hang out with my friends that I had to turn down to [go to] practice”, he says. Jocelyn always chose basketball over his friends, having more focus on excelling his game and achieving his goals.

In seventh grade, Jocelyn realized basketball was more than just a sport he played, and took it seriously; even setting new goals. It wasn’t until sophomore year, however, that he decided to devote more time for practice. Praise and encouraging words from spectators made him realize his true potential for the sport, which inspired him to work harder to become the best he could be.

Being that Verona is a small town, Jocelyn says he felt overlooked by many colleges. “I personally feel like if you go to a prep school, you will get more college looks but if you go to a small public school, you will get less attention,” he says. But when Jocelyn felt his talents were being discounted, he simply worked harder to prove them wrong.

Jocelyn has been training with Joe Hohn since his sophomore year of high school. What’s ironic about their relationship however, is that Hohn was the same coach who selected players for the travel team that Jocelyn didn’t make in middle school. Jocelyn likes that Hohn brings in good talent to practice with him, allowing him to excel for his future in basketball. Hohn has brought in overseas pros, college players of all levels, and NBA players to work on skills with him. (Not, however, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, who is Jocelyn’s favorite player because he can relate to his size and versatility.) Travis Jocelyn

As he transitions into becoming a college player, Jocelyn reflects on what he is going to take away from playing in high school to help him. He says that “even though the college game is gonna be faster, I learned how to be patient in high school which can help me”. He will attend The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in the fall, and has high hopes for his debut as a division III basketball player. TCNJ’s tough basketball conference, strong academics, and good connections with the players and coaches helped him choose it over other colleges. His excitement to play knows no bounds, as he looks forward to playing on a bigger stage that he has been dreaming of his whole life.

Jocelyn says he’s not nervous at all, but rather ambitious. “Playing college basketball has been something I’ve looking forward to for my whole life so I want to embrace it and enjoy playing the game”. Of his many goals, he specifically wants to win the NJAC conference rookie of the year, win in their conference, and make an appearance and win in their division tournament.

For his numerous basketball accomplishments, Jocelyn wants to thank his parents, who paid for lessons and brought him to games; his brother, who played with him; and coaches Ted Sochaski, Eric McElroy, and Greg Davidson.

“Basketball has really taught me a lot of life skills and I’ve met so many new people from playing basketball,” Jocelyn says. “Without basketball, I wouldn’t be who I am today”.Travis Jocelyn

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