Standout Justin Reynolds has found his place as a starter for the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi

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justinOn a team with just one senior, former Pearland High School standout Justin Reynolds has found his place as a starter for the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Islanders, and he's only a sophomore.


I found Justin and his team in Huntsville, playing the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Previously undefeated in the Southland Conference, the Islanders lost a tough one to the Bearkats and is tied for first in the Southland Conference. Justin was still impressive, though.


Standing 6'8", Justin was the big man on the Pearland Oilers team and wasn't allowed to venture away from the basket. His job was to rebound his teammates' bad shots and try for the second-chance basket.


Justin has been drifting away from his post under the basket. Islanders coach Perry Clark has helped him develop into more of a shooter. He has a better jump shot and can hit it from the paint, mid-range and the 3-point line.


Justin says his coach gives him more leeway and has a lot of confidence in him. I don't blame the coach, either. Of the starters, Justin has the second highest shooting percentage (.458). The best part is that he is having fun, making good grades and has become a key contributor to his team.


Saturday's game was extra special for him. His mother and father were there to see him play. Justin says it's hard to play at a school far away from home. His biggest fans aren't there to cheer him on every game like they did when he was in high school. He says he's lonely without his parents and his Pearland fans.


"I'm so used to looking up in the stands and seeing the same people cheering for me, and now it's different," he said. He's growing as an athlete and maturing as a man.


Justin says he adds intangibles and is a leader for his teammates. He wants to be the guy that his team looks to for support, and he's proudly taken the younger players under his wing. Did I mention he's just a sophomore?

Houston Chronicle