(Photo submitted by Jackson State)
Jenirro Bush knows it's important for him to be a leader for the Jackson State men's basketball team.
As the only senior for the Tigers, the former East Oktibbeha player understands how much responsibility comes with it.
"I've got to do more of the tough stuff like rebounding, trying to lead more by example and calm some of the younger guys down," Bush said. "For a couple of them, it's their first time playing Division I basketball so I try to keep them poised on the court, slow them down a little bit and try to teach them some of the things that upperclassmen taught me."
Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said Bush has been valuable as a senior.
"He means the world to our team to tell you the truth," Anderson said. "He's doing the things we ask him to do. He's a pleasure to coach, pleasant to be around and to be a part of our basketball team.
"This is the youngest team we've had here and several true freshmen are playing along side of him. He's helping them more than they are helping him because they are freshmen not knowing the game as well as he does and not having that basketball IQ as well as he has it because of the experience he has."
Even though the Tigers have struggled to find wins this season with records of 3-13 overall and 1-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Bush still manages to produce points.
Bush, who averages close to 15 points per game, had one of his best overall games in Jackson State's 55-52 win over Alabama A&M. He had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
In an 81-78 loss by the Tigers to Alabama State, Bush scored 20 points, then went on to get 14 points in a 63-60 loss to Alcorn State and 11 points in a 66-37 loss to Southern University.
"He can score," Anderson said. "What stands out, especially in conference play, he's got two guys guarding him most of the time so he brings a lot of attention defensively and he takes a lot of guys away from my other scorers.
"He helps Kelsy Howard quite a bit, one of our freshmen. When they are always trying to guard Jenirro, it loosens up Kelsey Howard for a better opportunity to score. He's a pretty good defender and rebounds pretty well for us too."
Following his high school days, Bush played junior college at Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Bush played 31 games as a sophomore and led UA Fort Smith in scoring with 14.6 points 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and one steal. He also played 31 games during his freshman season and was the third-leading scorer at 9.8 points per game.
In his first season at Jackson State, Bush started 26 of the 31 games played. He led the Tigers with 14.2 points per game and 42 steals, and added 3.5 rebounds per outing, blocked four shots, shot 43.1 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from 3-point range.
After being selected second-team All-SWAC as a junior, Bush was recognized as the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year prior to this season.
Anderson said Bush has played like a player of the year should at times this season.
"He's just a solid basketball player that I hope will have a chance to play after college," Anderson said.
Bush has enjoyed his time playing college basketball in the capital city.
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"Since I've been here everything has been going pretty well," Bush said. "I've had some good coaches who have helped me along the way. During my time here, I've made a little buzz and name for myself."