This week in Player Spotlight, we focus on Grand Rapids Danger standout, Jamell Hatchet. You may already be familiar with Hatchet’s season as he has been named Player of The Game multiple times and is currently in the running for MVP of the North American Basketball League. If not, you may even know the Grand Rapids native from his basketball careers at East Kentwood high school and Aquinas College. Being one of the veterans on the Danger roster and because of his motivational personality, Hatchet is the captain of the Danger. Jamell has a passion for instilling enthusiasm and drive in his teammates, or anyone around him, really. His desire to be great at the sport and determined mentality make him both an excellent player and leader. Read on to learn more about Danger point guard, Jamell Hatchet.
Basketball Beginnings and Personal Life
Q: Where are you from?
A: Grand Rapids
Q: When and how did you first start playing basketball?
A: I started playing in the 5th grade. I had started playing in the park before that, but I started officially on a team for the school that year. My mom and I later ended up moving to Wyoming and they didn't have a ball team, so that was disappointing.
Q: Where did you attend High school?
A: East Kentwood High School
Q: Where did you attend College?
A: Aquinas College
Q: What was your area of study?
A: Business management.
Q: What do you do for work?
A: I’m a youth coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club. I also do electrical work wiring panels and big oven heaters for buildings.
The Danger and Future Aspirations
Q: What are your goals going forward in terms of career and basketball? Are you looking to play overseas?
A: Yes, if the opportunity presents itself I think I would play overseas. I more so want to mentor and coach, I’m 29 years old and I have a family. I coach youth basketball as well. I like to help others get excited about basketball and to understand the game. I would even like to do motivational speaking outside of basketball.
Q: How long have you been playing for the Danger?
A: 3 years
Q: Tell me about your transition to the Danger. How did you hear about the team and what made you want to pursue signing with the Danger?
A: At that time coach Chuck (Charles Johnson) was a big role model of mine. He and Allen are good people and I knew them from playing basketball. I was looking to help the program and further my career at that point.
Q: You’ve had an amazing season so far and you’re currently up for MVP of the NABL. How do you feel about that? Was that a goal you had coming into the season, or were you surprised by that?
A: It has some kind of pressure but I just want to help the team. Everyone is an MVP in my eyes. I’m ecstatic about it and I'm just going to continue to do what I'm doing. It's an honor to be recognized for that.
Q: What have you enjoyed most so far playing for the Danger?
A: I have a whole list of things, but just traveling and creating bonds with everyone. It’s a great culture we all have together.
Q: What are your goals for this season playing for the Danger? Personally, and as a team?
A: Personally, my goal is to lead by example by continuing to put in the work it takes to be great, that’s one of my biggest things. Guys on the team joke that I’m the old man on the team, but I’m going to do what it takes to get us there [winning the championships]. As a team, I want to shock everybody. I want us to lead the league. That would be huge for the organization and the city to bring it back.
Interesting facts: Inside the Mind of Jamell Hatchet
Q: Do your kids enjoy playing basketball after watching you play for so long?
A: My oldest naturally likes basketball but my youngest wants to play soccer and baseball, he’s not interested in basketball.
Q: What is your most memorable basketball moment?
A: I would have to say in high school when I scored 37 points in a game where we were down by 21 at halftime. We ended up winning the game.
Q: What is your most embarrassing basketball moment?
A: In college, we were playing a game against cornerstone and I had a swollen lip. The previous practice I got hit and I guess it was still very noticeably swollen. The fans were clowning me so bad. They kept yelling and taunting me about it and I knew it was bad. I remember thinking, “ I don’t even want to play this game anymore”. That was really embarrassing.
Q: Do you have a pre-game ritual or routine?
A: Pray, pray, and pray. I pray on top of motivating myself. I’ll talk out loud to myself and look in the mirror and tell myself, you got this.
Q: Who is your favorite music artist/band?
A: Jay Z
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: Allen Iverson
Q: What is your favorite sports team to follow?
A: Any team LeBron James plays on.
Q: If you could play another sport besides basketball, what would it be and why?
A: I would say football because I’m very fast. I played a little bit in middle school and going into high school I went to summer camps for football. I was getting looked at by CMU but ended up not pursuing the sport. My I.Q. on the court is very high and I wanted to Utilize those skills and opportunities with basketball.
Q: Outside of basketball, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
A: Rapping and exercising
Q: What's something not a lot of people know about you?
A: I’m well rounded and motivational.
Q: If you could have dinner with any three people, living or not, who would they be?
A: Barack Obama, Jay Z, and Bill Gates.