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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Way Up For Grabs

Julmist Becomes Top NAIA Rebounder for Master's

March 14, 2000|DAN LOUMENA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEWHALL — God and circumstance led Joclin Julmist to The Master's College.

Hard work and determination turned him into one of the best rebounders among NAIA men's basketball players.

In each of his four seasons at Master's, Julmist has ranked among the top five NAIA rebounders, leading the nation this season with a 14.5 average.

The Freeport, Bahamas, native had no idea in high school that he'd play college basketball. The oldest of six children raised by a single mother, Julmist quit Tabernacle Baptist Academy's basketball team when he was a sophomore.

"I wasn't getting playing time, so I quit," said Julmist, adding that "having fun" was a focal point growing up.

Sitting the bench wasn't fun. Neither was being excluded from pick-up games by older kids.

"First of all, I just played basketball for fun," he said. "I tried to play with the bigger guys, but they'd tell me and my friends we couldn't play. But I kept playing [basketball] with a couple of friends."

Julmist's mother is a maid for a doctor in Freeport. Of his childhood, he said, "We had a lot of fun. Being the oldest of six brothers and sisters, we always had a lot of fun."

As a junior and senior at Tabernacle, he received plenty of playing time. He helped lead Tabernacle to the Bahamian national title as a senior and caught the eye of Master's Coach Bob Oates, who received a tip from a friend about Julmist.

"I went to look at a couple kids and I liked him the best," Oates said of Julmist. "I liked his tenacity and his ability to rebound the basketball."

The opportunity to attend a Christian college and receive financial aid brought the 6-foot-5 Julmist to the Newhall campus.

"I came here just for basketball," said Julmist, who has filled out to a well-proportioned 225 pounds and ranks No. 3 in school history with 1,530 rebounds. "Coach told me it was a Christian school, and that was important to me as a Christian.

"Coach said it was a good place to grow as a person and that it was a good basketball program. I had some other [small-college] offers, but this place provided me with a lot of financial aid."

The soft-spoken power forward has helped Master's (26-5) reach the NAIA national tournament four times, this season as the No. 8-seeded team.

His well-rounded game is admired by teammates.

"He brings us aggressiveness," senior guard Joey Penberthy said. "He gives us excellent defense . . . he can defend anyone, including guards. He likes that challenge. He can bang with the big men inside. He holds his own and moves people around."

Julmist, who averages just under 10 points, is one of several options for the Mustangs.

"He has good hands, great quickness and good anticipation," Oates said. "We try to involve everybody in the offense, but we do run some things through him. He can play both inside and outside."

Penberthy, who leads Master's in scoring with a 20.3 average, appreciates Julmist's unselfishness.

"He has excellent hands and passes the ball well to other guys, especially the cutters," Penberthy said.

After the national tournament, Julmist plans to complete his liberal-studies degree and concentrate on the future.

"I want to teach and coach," he said.

And, no doubt, have fun.

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