Mason tops father, becomes EU all-time scoring leader

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 5:55 PM
Mason tops father, becomes EU all-time scoring leader by Chris Rosato Jr.
Photo: Dakota Palmer

Less than 2 minutes into the second half of the Edinboro men’s basketball game against Mercyhurst University on Feb. 24, Jaymon Mason found himself charging down the court. 

The Lakers’ Malcolm Walters had just sunk a 3-pointer, Mason’s shot of choice. Not to be outdone, he would approach the 3-point line, locating a screen set up by Fighting Scot Jack Frank. With no one in front of him, he stepped up to the line and delivered a jumper, sinking the long distance shot like he had 228 times over the last four years.

But this one was different.

With the 3 points, Mason officially became the all-time leading scorer in Edinboro men’s basketball history. In order to reach that feat, he had to score more than 1,954 points, the mark set in 1996 by Tyrone Mason, Jaymon’s father. 

“Maybe you won’t beat it,” Jaymon Mason recalled his father saying, the elder Mason teasing him after Edinboro defeated Cheyney University of Pennsylvania earlier this season. “I don’t think you will.”

After the Cheyney game, Mason had a career total of 1,661 points, good for third on the all-time list. His father was able to attend the game because it was near his hometown of Philadelphia.

Mason spent most of his life on the other side of the state from his father, who attended Edinboro from 1993-1996. He said he always had a good relationship with his father, but they didn’t get to spend much time together while he was growing up.

He remembers he and his father heading to the basketball court together whenever they saw each other, and that he always received encouragement and tips from him about moving to the next level of play.

When Mason was in junior high, he got to spend more time with his father and benefited from learning more about the sport from him, but much of his early foundational learning came from coaches he had when he was younger.

“I was probably like 5 years old when I started going to the YMCAs and stuff, and just trying to get into leagues and just learn — really just learning the game,” he said.

His mother and grandparents helped get him to games and tried to help as much as they could to develop him and support him along the way, but he said having coaches who cared about helping him was invaluable in becoming an elite athlete. 

 “My mom was always there, obviously,” Mason said. “I mean now she pretty much comes to all of [my games] because it’s my senior year, but even before that she’d always come to support. My grandma, my grandpa — all my family really — they all come to support me, so that’s big.”

The younger Mason currently sits at 1,975 points heading into Wednesday’s PSAC tournament game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania after scoring another eight points in Monday’s conference tournament game against the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

It’s fitting that he broke his father’s record with a 3-point shot, as he currently ranks second all-time with 234 completed 3-pointers over his four seasons at Edinboro.

“When I came in, I wasn’t really thinking about holding any records or anything, but now [that] it’s coming to the end, it definitely means a lot,” Mason explained. 

He also broke the school’s career free throws record in the first game of the season, as he trailed by only one after last season. He also broke the single-season record for free throws made during the 2015-16 season when he hit 153. He then sunk 130 free throws last season, good for fourth on the list. 

So far this season, he has only attempted 113 shots from the charity stripe (making 90 of them), less than the 118 free throws he converted during his redshirt freshman year, a mark that currently sits at 17th for Edinboro history.

Mason also ranks fourth in career field goals made with 625 before Wednesday’s game, but he trails the first place mark by nearly 100 baskets. That record is currently held by his father as well.

“I wasn’t expecting to be leading in other categories like free throws,” he said. “But it definitely means a lot. It just kind of shows I’ve worked hard my four, five years here, and hopefully younger kids can look up to it.”

In contrast to his father, who only played at Edinboro for three seasons, Mason is in his fourth season after redshirting his first year at the school. He credits that time for allowing him to make an immediate impact once he stepped on the court for his first NCAA game.

“I just sat out all year just to get stronger and stuff, get adjusted to the game,” he said. “You know, I wanted to go out there and compete, but at the same time, I think that [redshirting] really helped me get adjusted to the game and get adjusted to how the college game was going to be played.”

He continued: “Even just practicing with the guys and just doing everything with the team, even though I wasn’t playing, that definitely helped. At least I was able to practice and just compete, but I think that definitely helped me be who I am today.”

He said he hopes Edinboro’s final game this season — whenever that may be — won’t be his last.

“I’m trying to play somewhere at the next level, either if it’s in the states or if I have to go overseas,” Mason said. “But I’m definitely trying to play somewhere, just continue playing basketball.”

Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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