J.J. Culver was inspired by Kobe Bryant to improve his game, then scored 100 in one night
J.J. Culver had scored his team’s first 42 points on Tuesday night. He had 51 at halftime, already surpassing the Wayland Baptist record and tying the Sooner Athletic Conference mark for the most points scored in an entire game.
And the senior guard was just getting started.
Culver, the older brother of Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver, finished the game against Southwestern Adventist with 100 points to become only the fourth college player to reach the century mark in an official game.
“WAIT.... my brother @jj10culver just scored 100 points in a game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” tweeted Jarrett Culver, who was drafted sixth overall by the Timberwolves this summer after two seasons at Texas Tech. “Somebody tell me I’m not dreaming.”
J.J. Culver made 34 of 62 shots, including 12 of 33 from three-point range, and was 20 for 27 from the free-throw line to help Wayland Baptist cruise to a 124-60 victory in front of a home crowd at Hutcherson Center in Plainview, Texas.
“First I have to thanks God. Second I couldn’t have done this without my coaches and teammates. Definitely a dream come true,” he tweeted. “I put in a lot of work for this. I love playing basketball and thanks everyone for the support.”
First I have to thanks God. Second I couldn’t have done this without my coaches and teammates. Definitely a dream come true. I put in a lot of work for this. I love playing basketball and thanks everyone for the support pic.twitter.com/3Wy2fjljeG— JJ Culver (@jj10culver) December 11, 2019
After being named the conference’s player of the year and an NAIA first-team All-American last season, Culver used Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as inspiration to take his game to another level.
“I saw some of his videos,” Culver told Yahoo Sports. “He said when he scored 81, he was conditioned really well. So in the summer, I ran a lot.”
Culver set a career high with 41 points against McMurry in the second game of the season and also scored 40 against Bellevue last month. But coach Ty Harrelson and the Wayland Baptist players could tell Culver was well on his way to eclipsing those marks early in Tuesday night’s game.
“We always script our first couple of plays, and J.J. scored on the first three or four,” Harrelson said. “The guys realized he was hot and kept going to him. We figured as long as he’s taking good shots and shots out of our philosophy that he had a chance to do something special tonight.”
The previous school record for points in a game was 50, set by Roy Young during the 1955-56 season. Victor Parrish of Science & Arts of Oklahoma set the previous conference record of 51 in 1993.
Jack Taylor of Grinnell College holds the NCAA record after scoring 138 points during a 2012 game. He also had 109 points during a 2013 game.
Clarence “Bevo” Francis of Rio Grande (Ohio) set the NAIA record of 113 points in 1954. The only other college player to reach 100 in an official game was Frank Selvy of Furman in 1954, according to SportRadar.
After joining those illustrious ranks, Culver spoke with his famous sibling on FaceTime. According to Yahoo Sports, the call began with “incoherent screams” on both ends.
“I don’t even know what to say, bro,” Jarrett Cole eventually told his big brother.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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