Sapp and Jansen Leave their Marks on the Hilltop

March 6, 2009

One has been with the team for the last four years and has been a key starter and player on teams that won two BIG EAST Regular Season Championships and advanced to the Final Four, while another joined the team last season as a walk-on.

The fact that one of them ranks among the top-50 scorers all-time in Georgetown basketball history and that the other has scored seven points in his career does not diminish their importance to the team or to the program.

Jessie Sapp and Bryon Jansen have both left their mark on the Hilltop and today, against DePaul, the two will be on the floor for the final regular season game of their career at Verizon Center.

Sapp came to Georgetown as a freshman in 2005-06 and was a key reserve on the team that went 23-10 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 2.8 points and 1.9 rebounds as he appeared in 33 games.

He did not start the first game of his sophomore year, during the 2006-07 season, but started the next 36 games and helped lead the Hoyas to the BIG EAST Regular Season title, the BIG EAST Tournament Championship and to the Final Four. A sophomore starting alongside seasoned juniors like Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert and Jonathan Wallace, Sapp made his mark. He averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and hitting 40 three-pointers.

Last year as a junior, Sapp started every game as he, along with Hibbert, Wallace and senior Patrick Ewing, Jr., helped lead the Hoyas to consecutive BIG EAST Regular Season Championships. He averaged 9.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists, shooting 43.8 percent from the floor and hitting a career-high 62 three-pointers, the sixth-best mark in a single season at Georgetown.

 

 

Sapp has started all but three games this year as a senior (through Feb. 25). Through 26 games, he was averaging 6.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The season has not gone the way he envisioned, but he has helped to lead this young squad.

Jansen, meanwhile, hasn't been around on the team for nearly as long as Sapp, at least not in uniform. A native of Seattle, Wash., Jansen was a standout player at Seattle Christian, earning all-league honors as a senior. He had a chance to play basketball at some smaller programs, but he wanted the chance to attend school at Georgetown, where he is majoring in government, with minors in economics and theology.

So when he came to Georgetown in 2005-06, Jansen did what most college students do, he became fan. He road the bus with Hoya Blue to the Final Four. He painted his face. He chanted "Hoya Saxa" during games. He even had the "H" from Hoya painted on his chest at one point during a game.

He won an intramural tournament as a freshman, e-mailed the coaching staff as a sophomore and was welcomed as a walk-on prior to the 2007-08 season. He only played in 10 games last year, but the one shot he hit was memorable, banking in a three-pointer in a blowout win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

"I mean, it just feels right to be a part of this," Jansen said last year before the NCAA Tournament. "That's what it was my freshman year: I didn't feel right. I love Georgetown, I absolutely love Georgetown, but I felt like I wanted to do something more. Everything just feels perfect since I've been here, and I just love to be a part of this."

Jansen has made himself right at home with all of his teammates. During the team's picture day at the start of the season, Sapp was excited for the group senior photo, featuring the two of them.

The two Georgetown seniors have taken very different paths to get where they are now, but both have left their marks.

"I love Georgetown," Sapp said. "These last four years, the games we've won, the times we've had, the friends I've made, I wouldn't trade it for the world."

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