It didn’t take long for Pikesville coach Anthony Dorsey to realize the type of player Jamelle Christian could eventually become.
Even early in pre-season practice, Christian, just a sophomore, immediately stood out to Dorsey because of his natural point-guard skills and leadership ability. Christian hasn’t stopped standing out since.
While a young Panthers team has struggled while trying to replace its top 10 scorers from last season, Christian has established himself as a major piece of what Dorsey expects to be a bright future for Pikesville.
The 5-foot-10 Christian, who transferred to Pikesville prior to the season after moving with his mother from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, leads the Panthers (2-20) in both scoring (9.6 points per game) and assists (4.2) and is tied for the team lead in steals (1.5). He attended Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. as a freshman.
“He’s been a big plus for us, just a huge asset,” Dorsey said. “He’s the only true point guard that we have and he’s been great. He’s going to be the face of Pikesville basketball for the next few years. We’re going to try to build around him.”
Christian has recorded double-digit points in 12 of the Panthers’ 22 games, including seven times in the last nine games. He posted 19 points—his second-highest scoring output of the season—in Pikesville’s 66-61 win against Dundalk Dec. 11 after tallying a season-high 21 points in the Panthers’ 63-60 loss to Eastern Tech Jan. 5.
“He reminds me kind of a young Raymond Felton [former University of North Carolina star that now plays for the NBA’s New York Knicks],” Dorsey said. “He’s a score-first point guard, but he’s not selfish and gets other people involved and will do whatever it takes to make the team better. I think he has a big future, not just at Pikesville, but I think he’s capable of eventually being a Division-1 player [at the next level].”
And Christian is eager to prove Dorsey right.
“I’m extremely hungry,” Christian said. “I know what I want to [eventually] be and all I want to do is work out and get better. I’m going to put in a lot of work during the summer so I can come out next year and be a completely different player than I was this year.”
But aside from his individual goals, Christian is also determined to re-establish the Panthers as a legitimate force within Baltimore County by the time he graduates. Pikesville went 20-4 last year, reaching the Class 1A North final before being ousted by eventual state finalist Owings Mills, but dropped 19 of its first 20 games to start this season.
“This year has been kind of rough and hasn’t gone like we expected,” Christian said. “But next year, we’re going to have a lot more experience and we’re only going to get better. I just really want to get to Comcast Center [for the state finals] by the time I’m done at Pikesville and have a chance to win a state championship.”
Christian and the Panthers host Sparrows Point Friday at 5 p.m. for the first round of this year’s playoffs.