East Tennessee trio hooping it up in Asheville
Trent Stephney, Tajion Jones and BJ Marable making the most of opportunity in North Carolina
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Trent Stephney, Tajion Jones and BJ Marable are all playing for Mike Morrell at UNC-Asheville, ”In high school you were the man you feel like you’re the center of the team and once you get here you gotta put all the pieces to the puzzle together, it’s bigger than me,” says big man BJ Marable.
What all three have in common is that they each call East Tennessee home—so having a taste of home in Asheville had provided a big assist both on and off the court. I feel like it;s more fun to play with them, play with someone from your city, you already know of them before you get to campus you got people from your city so they know you and you know them, it’s just fun having your friends there with you,” says Trent Stephney, who traded schools but not nicknames. The former Bearden Bulldog says he is enjoying his new home just across the Tennessee border, ”I think it’s fun, it’s very challenging at the same time, we’re being strongly coached a lot which is good because we don’t want to be soft coached which doesn’t help us in the long run or right now during the season.”
Tajion Jones, who played his high school ball for Aaron Green at Oak Ridge, is making the most of his opportunity over in North Carolina. Jones says, ”Coach Morrell and coach Green are alike, both intense in practice. At Oak Ridge we pressed and with coach Morrell I was used to it , just playing hard is really what I got from both of them.”
So how good is high school ball in the Knoxville area? Well, BJ. Marable, who starred at Grace Christian Academy, says the lessons learned at GCA are helping with the transition from Tennessee, especially playing through a pandemic, ”I think the first goal is we all want to stay safe through this season. The ultimate goal is we’re trying to get that championship.”
The Tennessee trio is certainly helping put the bite in the Bulldogs, who recently put an end to the longest win streak in the nation upsetting unbeaten Winthrop..
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