Elijah Jenkins began playing basketball in an organized league at age 4, and has not stopped since.

Elijah credits others’ doubts of him as his primary motivation in the sport.

Elijah Jenkins

“I’ve never been the most athletic on the court or the flashiest on the court, so people often times don’t notice the fact that I outplay most of the guys they give attention to,” he said.

This has pushed him to work harder, furthering his basketball career. He especially remembers one victory in the regional championship during his junior year.

“We were doubted by everyone and had to overcome so much to come back and win that game,” he said.

However, Elijah says that his favorite part of the sport is how it “parallels so closely with life in general. If you’ve missed five shots in a row, you don’t stop shooting, you keep shooting, the same way in life if you have a bad day in the classroom or at home you just keep pushing and stay confident, no matter what.”

Elijah also channels his passion into helping others. He volunteers with the Junior Raiders Camp, a Riverwood High School summer camp that gives younger kids an opportunity to play basketball while being coached by high school players. Elijah enjoys working with the children who attend the camp.

“These are kids who will hopefully in the future help keep the Riverwood basketball program trending upward. Potentially having an effect on the program’s future by working with kids is pretty awesome to me,” he said.

His interests span past athletics, too. Elijah is involved in both student government and rigorous academics at Riverwood High School. He is the senior class treasurer, and says that the experience has helped him grow as a person.

“Being senior class treasurer this year taught me a great deal about the importance of the leadership quality in a person and how just one person’s ideas can impact large groups of people and change aspects of their lives for the better,” he said.

What’s next?
Elijah’s academic interests center on engineering, which he says he hopes to pursue in college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Sarah Kallis, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, reported and wrote this article.