In the early years of Journeyman, when our program was being built, there were a lot of great ideas thrown out there. An All-Star Game, credited to Ryan Bushnell, an Alumni Game credited to Rob Skaff and perhaps the best one: a Player’s Association, credited to Jeffery Garand. So who better to lead this player’s organization than its founder?
Founded in 2004, the Journeyman Player’s Association would set the standard for the actions of its players. And more importantly hold them responsible for their actions with a contract. Journeyman was created in part to empower the players and that’s all Jeff needed to hear. The rest is history. From establishing the first contract to collecting dues and making an impact on our community Jeff did it all. And he did these things with great exuberance, pride and commitment. He even earned himself a nick-name along the way. “The Mayor”, called this for his ability to greet everyone with respect and display a truly genuine attitude.
Jeff was a very important member of the organization in the early years assisting the founder with a multitude of tasks. Always contributing and never asking what was in it for himself, furthermore never insinuating that you owed him anything. He did these things out of his joy for the game and to be a part of something truly unique.
As a player, Jeff made a name for himself. If Journeyman could find their equal counterpart in professional basketball Jeff Garand would be Journeyman’s Kevin McHale. Blessed with height, Jeff would match that blessing with the smoothest of moves and masterful up-fakes to defeat his opponent. Jeff’s ability to work around the basket is something to be admired and he had one of the best drop steps in the organization next to our own Josh Eisfeller. At times Jeff would enjoy spotting up for a three getting a wince from his teammates which was never understood because although he rarely took these shots, he was truly under-rated for his ability to knock them down. Often seen swishing them in warm-ups Jeff would draw attention.
Once he was in the game, he knew his calling. Along with his arch rival, friend and Hall of Famer Joe Benevento they set the tone for low post play for many years. Jeff Garand’s individual achievements include, Wireless Zone Dedication and Commitment Award SJE-14, Most Improved Player JJE-12, first ever Journeyman Basketball Player’s Association President until he was replaced by Robbie Hanson in 2006, held consecutive games played record until a foot injury during SJE-16, Awarded Special JPA Award for superior service in 2007 and has earned Player of the Game honors 9 times. Statistically, at the point of induction Jeff placed 6th all-time in point system points, 7th in scoring, 1st in blocked shots, 2nd in total rebounds, 4th in free-throws made, 2nd in 2 point field goals and 8th in games played. For Jeff’s early dedication to the program we owe him this honor. For his great personality and willingness to give for others we owe him much, much more. If Jeff continues to apply himself to goals and objectives, the world is his. A great player, an even better person and a true friend not soon forgotten, please join us in congratulating Jeff Garand, a true Journeyman.