How Ragin' Cajuns basketball signee Jalen Dalcourt took the long road home to Lafayette
From Lafayette to Tallahassee, Florida, then Tallahassee to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Council Bluffs to San Jose, California, the road traveled has been a long one for Jalen Dalcourt.
That’s what made deciding to sign last week with the UL basketball team so easy for the 6-foot-2 former Lafayette High, Tallahassee Community College, Iowa Western CC and San Jose State combo guard so easy.
“It feels good, man, being that I traveled damn near across the country,” Dalcourt told The Daily Advertiser. “I think it was time for me to come home, you know?
“I (haven’t) really had my family to come watch me my first three years, so … I decided to talk things over with (them), and they thought it was a good idea, and I definitely thought it was a good idea.
“Just having their support again means a lot,” Dalcourt added, “so it was a big impact on my decision, for sure.”
From Florida to California
Dalcourt averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds as a senior in 2017-18 at Lafayette, where he also all-state in track and field in the high jump.
Dalcourt was a freshman at Lafayette when his brother, Corey Davis, Jr., was a senior there.
After a stint in Turkey, Davis, a starting guard on Houston’s NCAA Tournament teams in 2018 and ’19, plays now for BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque of the highly regarded Pro A league in France.
Dalcourt averaged 11.1 points at Tallahassee CC and 10.6 at Iowa Western.
Limited last season by Achilles tendinitis to 15 games including nine starts, he averaged 9.6 at San Jose State.
Returning to Lafayette, Dalcourt joins a UL program that also has signed former St. John’s starting guard Greg Williams Jr., a Lafayette Christian product; signed former Nevada and Arizona forward Jordan Brown, the son of Cajuns Hall-of-Famer Dion Brown; and added former St. Thomas More guard Carter Domingue as a walk-on this offseason.
“That was biggest thing on choosing a school: I wanted to make sure I was going to a place where I would have to bring the best and where I could go compete,” said Dalcourt.
“I think UL did a great job of picking up guys to help me compete and bring the best out of myself and also go there and win a Sun Belt championship.”
Juco hard school graduate
Dalcourt was reminded of the value of toughness playing on the juco level.
“Nothing’s handed to you. Everybody there’s trying to get a scholarship,” he said. “So you’ve got to work for everything you get.
“You’ve got to bring it every night, because everybody’s trying to eat. And people will take your fork."
At San Jose State, the Achilles injury kept him out until January.
But he debuted with a career-high 23 points in a Jan. 2 game against Boise State, and also hit double figures in Mountain West games against Colorado State, New Mexico (twice) and San Diego State.
“That’s a pretty good conference,” said Dalcourt.
“Coming back here, (I’ll be) using my knowledge … and my experience to come and help the Ragin’ Cajuns win basketball games.”