He shoots, he scores, he reads!

You have to work hard to get where you want to go in life, and senior Jesse Pritchard has done just that. He has been on the Ames High varsity basketball team since he was a freshman, and today is the starting shooting guard for the team. He has been with the team through its ups and downs and has emerged as a senior leader of the team this year. And with the lineup that the team has this year, Pritchard and the team are looking forward to a breakout season. “Being on the team for three years gives me confidence going into this year,” Pritchard said. He knows what to expect every time he steps onto the court. “Everything comes so natural to me now after playing in so many games at this level. I have taken a lot in from the seniors I have played with before me, and it has helped me grow into the player I am today.” However, Pritchard’s talent didn’t all come naturally. “I have always had to work a little harder than everyone else to be successful,” he said. “I have always been blessed athletically,” Pritchard said. “I have always said if you can’t beat ‘em, jump over ‘em.” His hard work and dedication has proven to pay off as next year he will attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and play on their basketball team. Many other D-1 schools were also interested in him, including William & Mary, Cornell, and South Dakota. However, Yale offered Pritchard the most opportunities. “Yale offered me a great education and also a spot on the basketball team, and I couldn’t pass that down,” Pritchard said. “I have always had a lifelong dream of working with the NBA, and a Yale education may just help me reach that dream. I think it would be cool to be an owner/player. I’m pretty good at multi-tasking.” After visiting Yale’s campus earlier this year, Pritchard was amazed. “The facilities there are very nice. They are new, but still keep the old feelings and traditions. I just felt very comfortable while I was there and I am excited about this opportunity.” The Yale Bulldog basketball team hasn’t had the greatest success recently, but they did make the NCAA tournament three years ago. “There are four great players coming in with me next year, and hopefully we can change the program around there,” Pritchard said. Throughout his life, Jesse has been grateful to have the influence of his dad, Sam, and his grandpa Simpson. “As a kid, they both showed and taught me the game of basketball,” Pritchard said. “My grandpa taught me to use basketball to get where I want in life. I couldn’t be more thankful for the support he and my family have given me throughout my life and for my love of basketball.”