Fremont center Jared Jensen knows what it's like to get attention and he knows how to handle it, too.
At 6-foot-9 senior drew plenty of attention not only for his height but his ability to score.
Seeing double- and triple-team defenses wasn't all that uncommon.
His opponents knew sooner or later he was going to get the ball, and the task at hand was trying to stop him.
And not too many people did. For that reason, Jensen and his 25.8 points and 13 rebounds per game earned the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Basketball Award.
"Jared is going to get his points, and there's not a whole lot you can do to stop him," Bountiful coach Mike Maxwell said. "He's definitely one of the best players I've seen in a long time. He's going to make a great college player."
His college of choice is BYU, as he signed with Steve Cleveland's Cougars before the 2000-01 season began.
"He has a quiet confidence," said Fremont coach Bernie Graziano said. "He doesn't yak or boast, and he's coachable. You ask him to do something and he does it."
Along with his huge numbers in points and rebounds, Jensen, an academic all-stater, shot 63.6 percent from the field and was 159-of-215 from the foul line for 74 percent. In his career, he scored 1,439 points (820 in 2001) and pulled down 820 rebounds.
"He kept improving as he went along. He kept getting better and better," Maxwell said. "He has a touch I think he didn't have before."
No only did he develop a soft touch around the basket, but he could knock down 3-pointers to keep the defense honest.
"I think what made his amazing was his strength and touch. You don't see that combination too often," Maxwell said.
Murray coach Gordon Kener agreed.
"He has such a soft touch. We are talking about a big guy that rarely drop the ball," Kener said. "He was key to their press break."
The Silver Wolves finished fourth in Region 4 and posted upset win over Murray and Timpview in the 4A State Championships before falling to Olympus in the semifinals.
In those three games, he had 24, 33 and 25 points, respectively.
In earning the billing as the state's top basketball player, Jensen received votes from coaches in each of the five classifications in edging Sky View's Nate Harris, who will take his 22 points per game to Utah State; Bountiful's Jeff Jensen, who averaged, 23.9 points a game; Lone Peak's Sam Burgess, who led the Knights to 13 straight victories and the 4A title; and Timpanogos' Alan Bartholomew, who shot a state's best 76 percent from the field.
"In a nutshell, he is a talented, and he's a great young man with so much going for him," Graziano said. "He's intelligent and modest and physically and emotionally mature."
Graziano said getting Jensen to talk about his own game is just as difficult as stopping him, but if he did say anything he would give the credit to his teammates.
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