In 2014 Jenkins played at Lee College. He didn’t play in 2015. In 2016 he had an especially good year at Lee College averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
2016-2017 played for head coach Johnny Jones at Louisiana State University, according to ramsports.net. He missed the first 11 games because of an injury. He played in 18 of the 20 remaining games.
Branden Jenkins was named the Sooner Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week two times in a three-week period, according to ramsports.net.
The first award the guard received for his 44 points against Oklahoma City University on Jan. 6; the Rams won 106-92; he was also named the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Jan 1-7 for the same performance, according to ramsports.net.
The second was for averaging 27 points per game and seven rebounds per game in the wins against Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Southwestern Christian University on Jan. 15 and Jan. 20.
Jenkins said he was “locked in” during the OCU game and that led to his great game.
“Don’t get it wrong, I’m locked in each and every night, but I woke up that morning with dominating on my mind and that’s what I did,” he said. “I appreciate my teammates for helping me with that and coach putting me in the right position to be successful. I had fun that night. That’s what it’s all about.”
Jenkins left Louisiana State University, where he played during the 2016-2017 season, because he wanted control over his basketball career.
“Coach S (head men’s basketball coach Brennen Shingleton) gave me the opportunity to come here and show what I can do on and off the court,” Jenkins said. “Taking school seriously, and also becoming a better person and player. I love it here, the fans the community; it’s a great place to focus and simplify your life.”
Jenkins feels he brings a lot to this team through leading and encouraging everyone in the program.
“I’m a leader, a brother,” he said. “I owe it to those guys for giving me the chance to lead and make mistakes and through it all they stand right beside me. I encourage one through 15 all the way down to the manager, Alec (Daniels). I treat everyone the same. I’m not this cocky guy because of where I came from. This is my family.”
Wesleyan has helped Jenkins learn how to win and become a better player, he said.
“This place shows you what you’re really made of with so many guys that can play,” Jenkins said. “So every day it’s a challenge. Coach S is a great mentor to me as well as a great father figure. He wants the best for all of his guys and I needed that. So I’ll always be a Ram. Rams Up!”
Jenkins said his main goal for the season is to get better. He wants to learn the game and get the opportunity for the team to play for something bigger than themselves.
“We care and we hate letting each other down,” he said. “We play for each other. Anything else is an extra, so we’re pretty close.”
Jenkins is an easygoing, charming guy, Shingleton said.
“He fits in really well,” Shingleton said. “He’s a dynamic guy and a big-time athlete. He’s a very good basketball player. The thing that Branden has done well is he has kind of let go of everything in the past and really tried to form himself into a good college player here. I think that’s helped him.”
Jenkins works day to day and it helps that he has great men for teammates that encourage him to get better daily, Shingleton said.
“He’s obviously a dynamic player,” he said, “and he’s on a good team so that helps him. It’s scary to say it, but I don’t think we’ve seen his best basketball yet. We are still on him every day about holding back.”
This team is unique because there isn’t one guy that really stands out, Shingleton said. They all fit together and complement each other’s abilities.
“He’s kind of created a way in his head to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “I really appreciate that as a coach, but he’s kind of finding himself right now. That’s a good thing because we have a lot of basketball left to go.”
Shingleton said Jenkins’ personality is right where it should be; he is selfless and driven.
“He’s reliant on his teammates and maybe not many people know that,” he said. “He searches sometimes for encouragement, and we all do.”
Jenkins has stayed consistent and learned to win as a member of the Texas Wesleyan team, Shingleton said. It’s tough because after each season there are only a handful of returning players, and they have to carry on the previous team’s legacy.
“So when new guys come in and they’re supposed to play and are expected to contribute they have to now figure out what works here,” Shingleton said. “And Branden’s been really good with that. At times he bucks the system a little bit. But that’s okay; it’s a good thing to do.”
Jenkins is great with his teammates; they support each other in any way they can, Shingleton said.
“He’s a charming guy. He’s fun to be around, so that helps him for sure,” he said.
Jenkins has a tremendous work ethic and will do whatever he can to help the team, forward Dare Brazeel said.
“Our team chemistry is really good,” he said. “We all enjoy each other and have each other’s backs.”
Everyone on the team contributes with their best ability, Brazeel said.
“Branden helps the team by just doing what he does best, which is defend and score,” he said. “He guards the other team’s best player every night while averaging 22 (points) a game.”