Things haven’t turned out the way Jahshire Hardnett had hoped — but he’s not regretful for how he ended up at Chipola (Florida) College.
The former Gulfport Admiral transferred to Arlington Country Day in Florida for his senior season back in 2014-15, but returned to the Coast after he realized his credit hours may not fully transfer to the next level.
Hardnett had hoped to play a “national” schedule — which he did at ACD. Having already received some recruiting offers at GHS, Harndett hoped the move would yield more college interest — which can be debated.
Still, after sitting out the bulk of his senior season, Hardnett found a home at Fordham.
Because of transferring, and the NCAA’s slow process of clearing him academically, Hardnett only arrived at Fordham days before school started. He then injured his wrist and, already behind his counterparts on a struggling Fordham squad, ended up redshirting during the 2015-16 season.
“It was a great experience and matured my game. There was a lot there for me, but it was just bad timing,” Hardnett said Monday. “I think if the NCAA was never in the way it would have been a good fit and I would have stayed.”
Hardnett said he felt rushed when he signed with Fordham in May. He had transferred back to the Coast from ACD in January. Questions surrounding his eligibility clouded his recruitment. While some programs were pushing him toward the prep school route, he wanted to give the DI level a shot. This time, he said, he plans to take his time and make the best decision possible. He just hopes the same schools — possibly more? — once again show interest.
“I don’t want to bounce around again,” he said, having transferred to Chipola this summer. “I feel like the next school I’m at, that’s the opportunity I need to make the NCAA Tournament and playing on into my career.”
Although he’s playing at the junior college level instead of at a DI program, Hardnett said he has no regrets about transferring from a Gulfport team that had just won the Class 6A state championship.
“Sometimes I go back and think about what could have been. But a kid in my situation, I was just happy about the opportunity to play on a national schedule,” he said. “I felt like that was the best fit. It would have been a good thing if the classes would have worked out like they were supposed to. That kind of hurt me and set me back, but no regrets. I never regret anything.”
Hardnett admitted he does catch himself wondering what could have been had he stayed.
Where would he have finished in Gulfport’s storied record books? Could he have helped the Admirals add another banner in the Bert Jenkins Gymnasium rafters? Perhaps his recruitment would have gone differently?
“I always go back and think about that stuff, but things happen for a reason,” he said.
As a junior at GHS, Hardnett averaged 22.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals. At ACD, he averaged about 13 points and five rebounds.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound guard now looks at Chipola as an opportunity for a fresh start to prove he belongs on a Division I program.
The Indians played in a jamboree last weekend but won’t officially kick off their season until Nov. 4.
2013-14 season: Gulfport
2014-15 season: Arlington Country Day (Fla.)
2015-16 season: Fordham
2016-17 season: Chipola College (Fla.)