A Particular Counselor to Benedict Mathurin

Jennifer Mathurin, Bennedict’s older sister, could hardly be in a better position to guide her younger brother to NBA heights.

“My older sister guided me to be successful, she did a lot of things to help me have confidence,” admits the Quebecois who will logically be called up in the first round, Thursday, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The 29-year-old former basketball player also reveals that she will officially step down from her position on the Bishop’s University women’s team coaching staff to join her brother’s bodyguard as a special adviser. This is a logical sequel to the start of the NBA Draft. From an early age, Benn effectively followed in Jennifer’s footsteps, on and off the court.

“We’ve always been super close, my brothers and I, despite a good age difference, confides the older sister, during a generous phone interview. We have many beautiful memories. I remember my brothers being forced to come with me when I played basketball and trained with the DJ Sports team, a civilian club in [le quartier de] Little Burgundy. They were very young and we left Montreal North, often by public transport, to get there. They had no choice. I was their guardian.”

a tragic accident

Referring to her siblings, Jennifer is obviously referring to Bennedict, who is almost 10 years younger than her, but also to Dominique, who was the middle child. The latter was 15 years old when, on September 30, 2014, he tragically lost his life in a bicycle accident.

“Dominique died more than seven years ago, and since then I’ve spent every day thinking about him,” the future NBA player noted last week during an availability offered to the media with top hopes. He’s the reason I’m moving forward, he’s the reason I want to be the best at what I do.”

The older sister politely prefers not to return to the circumstances of the accident. Hit by a car, Dominique suffered a serious head injury and died the next day. Naturally, Jennifer likes to remember those training sessions in Little Burgundy, where the coach let the little Mathurin brothers play on the field every now and then.

“Sometimes I also had to bring my brothers to the park when we went for walks with my “gang” of daughters, Jennifer also remembers, laughing. They didn’t understand why they were still with me.”

However, the Mathurin family was raised by a single mother, Elvie Jeune. Often, she had to work to support her family. Jennifer thus took care of the brothers.

“Take advantage of opportunities”

On the sporting level, Jenn Mathurin will also have been released before Bennedict. She also played in the NCAA with North Carolina State University (NC State) for four seasons from 2013 to 2017. Afterwards she played professionally in Luxembourg, Finland and Australia.

“Since Montreal North, I haven’t had any milestones, I haven’t met any girl who, before me, had left there to play in the NCAA, neither in Europe nor in Australia,” she says of her own journey.

To her brother Bennedict, who in turn played for the University of Arizona Wildcats for two seasons, she offers the same advice she gave to young players at the University until recently.

“We must take 100% of the opportunities that lie ahead,” she said.

In these words, it is difficult not to trace a connection with Dominique’s death. Seizing the moment is what Jennier and Bennedict Mathurin will do Thursday night in the NBA Draft.

NBA Draft: Don’t compare yourself to others

Benedict Mathurin

Photo: AFP

Benedict Mathurin

In the context of the upcoming NBA draft, where simulations and debates invade the media and social networks, Montrealer Bennedict Mathurin would do well to listen to his sister and therefore not read this text.

“I remind him these days of the importance of not comparing yourself to others,” says Jennifer Mathurin. We must not forget that each one traces his own path.

Surely, Jabari Smith’s son will be selected before him, this Thursday in Brooklyn, the one perceived to be the Orlando Magic’s potential first pick. This will likely also be the case for Chet Holmgren, Jaden Ivey, Paolo Banchero and Keegan Murray. Will Mathurin be the first Canadian selected? The fight looks hot between him and Ontario Shaedon Sharpe.

“It’s important to block out the noise around him right now, but I feel like he’s focused,” his sister summarizes. You can’t waste energy on it, it’s something you don’t control.”

admit your limits

In addition to her own athletic training, Jennifer Mathurin leveraged her time at North Carolina State University to complete a master’s degree in social work. This formation served her well when she found herself on the coaching staff of Bishop’s University’s women’s basketball team last season, but also previously at Séminaire Saint-François in greater Quebec.

“Often, in sport, you learn to always overcome your limits, but it’s also important to take care of yourself, physically and mentally, and then admit your limits”, explains Mathurin globally, serving as a warning to all athletes who dream of a great sports career.

This really applies to everyone, not just Benedict.

in the green room

Jabari Smith

Major players in fight with Bennedict Mathurin (in alphabetical order by last name). They are among those who will accompany the Quebecois in the “green room” reserved for the best hopes during the NBA draft this Thursday:

  • Paolo Banchero Duque
  • Dyson Daniels (Australia)
  • Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
  • Ousmane Dieng (France)
  • Jalen Duren (Memphis)
  • AJ Griffin (Duke)
  • Chet Holmgren Gonzaga
  • Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
  • Keegan Murray (Iowa)
  • Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky)
  • Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn)
  • Jeremy Sochan(Baylor)

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