Wayland varsity basketball player Jaleel Bell helped his team to a 58-53 victory over Boston Latin Tuesday night, but he achieved a milestone all his own along the way.
Just 18 seconds into the second quarter, Bell, a senior guard, scored his seventh and eighth points of the game. Those points also represented his 1,000th and 1,001st points for his Wayland High School career.
While Athletic Director Justice Smith isn't sure how many other WHS players have hit the 1,000-point milestone, he knows that it's rare and that Bell put in a lot of work to get to that point.
"It's awesome," Smith said. "These kids are going to get a great experience no matter in what in this program. To put in the extra effort outside of practice to achieve this milestone, that's something he'll carry with him the rest of his life."
As Bell's big shot sank through the basket, coach Dennis Doherty called a timeout to allow the team to congratulate Bell and the crowd in the stands at the WHS field house to show its appreciation.
Bell took it all in with a shrug of his shoulders and an admittance that he wouldn't have even known the milestone was close had his mother and coaches not told him.
He said his mom, Deseree Samuel, woke him up Monday morning to let him know his coaches had done the math and his 1,000th point was in sight.
"I was able to hit the shots and my teammates put me in a position to do it," Bell said.
His mom was a bit more excited.
"I'm happy for him," Samuel said. "It's something he's worked hard for."
Samuel said Bell started playing basketball when he was 7 or 8 years old. Originally, he was also a swimmer, but swimming began to conflict with basketball, and Bell had to choose.
He now has 1,000-plus points that prove he made a good choice.