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OXFORD, Miss.—Junior forward Jaemyn Brakefield met with the media after the Rebels’ first official practice, and he talked about the strides he has made on and off the court.

Last season Brakefield played in all 32 games for the Rebels and started 25. He averaged 25.5 minutes, 7.7 points, and 4.2 rebounds per game. He also shot an efficient 47.1% from the field and 37.3% from distance.

At 6’8 and 220lbs, Brakefield has the size and speed to guard multiple positions. He also shoots the three ball at a high clip, making defenses respect his shot. Brakefield is a natural floor spacer, so his play type helps open up the lane for his teammates. 

Brakefield discussed his goals for taking the next steps this season.

“Really, just like you said, improving off of last year,”Brakefield said. “This is my second year, so I am kind of like a vet now, so I know what Coach Davis wants from me and the team. With it being this time of year, it is the start of everything. Instilling that in the young guys and knowing that we are like forty days away from our first game, this is just the start right now.”

Brakefield detailed the things he did well last year and how he can still improve.

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“I feel like I did some things okay last year,” Brakefield said. “I feel like I could have improved in many areas, and that is what I have been focusing on in the offseason. Definitely becoming a better shooter, a better all-around player, and a better teammate. Really just someone who can make my team around me better and hopefully lead us to where we want to be.”

Brakefield ended the interview by talking about improving as a leader.

“Both. I would say last year I started off as more of a vocal leader,” Brakefield said. “I let the older guys be my teacher, but that should not have prevented me from being as vocal. I feel like this year, knowing that I have gone through the ropes with one year under my belt, I can definitely show these younger guys by playing my role and being vocal.”

While it will be encouraging to see the improvements Brakefield made to his game on the court, it is inspiring to see him grow as a teammate.

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