Golden West’s Ray Jimmerson is known for shooting the three-pointer. So much so that it has become his nickname on campus.
“Hey, Three-Pointer,” assistant football coach Sonny Pau called out to him one day last week.
“I get a lot of that,” Jimmerson said.
Jimmerson has earned the nickname for Golden West over the last two seasons. He was Golden West’s main outside threat last season, making 114 of 321 (36%) three-pointers.
This season, he is the driving force behind the Rustlers’ offense.
Jimmerson has made 90 of 235 (38%) three-pointers this year and is averaging 19.5 points, which leads the Orange Empire Conference.
His total of 204 three-pointers leaves him seven shy of the Orange County community college record of 211 set by former Cypress standout Matt Kenney (1993-95).
Jimmerson started shooting from behind the three-point line as soon as he was strong enough to fire the ball that far. Since his senior year at Rialto Eisenhower High, he has continued to back up to the point where he is comfortable shooting, from four to six feet behind the 19-foot, 9-inch arc.
At times he even intentionally banks in three-pointers. He is often harassed by opponents when he makes one off the backboard. He doesn’t bother to explain it was on purpose.
“No one would believe me except my teammates,” he said. “I call it my ‘eye-setter.’ People get excited when you make a three. I just try to make it more fun.”
Golden West is struggling this season because of injuries and assorted other problems, including dropping two starters from the team after they were arrested in connection with a robbery.
The Rustlers are 6-18, 1-7 in conference but through it all Jimmerson has continued to play well. When other coaches talk about Golden West, Jimmerson is always the first name mentioned.
“We play Golden West and that means preparing for Jimmerson,” Irvine Valley Coach Jerry Hernandez said recently.
Jimmerson, who drives about 45 miles each way from Colton, is more than just a solid shooter to Golden West Coach Tom McCluskey.
“He’s 5-11 and he’s all heart,” McCluskey said. “He’s a great human being to be around and an example all kids should try to follow. He’s as coachable as they come. Sometimes his shot just goes stone cold but that doesn’t mean he quits in any other part of his game. He always keeps on competing.”