BATON ROUGE, La. (BVM) — Jalen Cook gives it his all when he is on the court. He gives his opponents trouble and when he comes to compete, everyone focuses on what play he will make next.
“Jalen Cook is virtually unstoppable,” Baton Rouge Catholic High School head coach Mark Cascio said in a Gatorade press release. “He hits tough, contested shots in crunch time. I think he shoots, drives, and handles the ball at a level that’s unmatched right now (in this state).”
At 6 feet, 180 pounds, Cook averaged 29.5 points, 5.1 boards, 4.7 assists, and 2.8 steals his junior year at Walker High School. Cook would maintain his high level of play in the playoffs by averaging 28.8 points. Unfortunately, the Wildcats would come up short in the 2019 LHSAA Class 5A state title game after capturing their first-ever state championship the year prior. But by performing the way he did, Cook proved he was one of the best players in Louisiana.
Throwback Highlight 2018 pic.twitter.com/9PaNGPMExI
— Walker Boys Basketball (@walkerboyshoops) August 20, 2020
Following his breakout junior year, he was voted Louisiana Mr. Basketball and won the USA Today Louisiana Player of the Year award.
Not only did Cook dominate on the basketball court, he was also an explosive player for the Wildcat football team. As a junior, which was the last season he played football, he earned all-parish honors and was an all-state honorable mention. He caught 47 passes for 624 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Cook also served as a punt returner, returning 10 kicks for an average of 37.5 yards and scored two TDs.
Along with his excellent athletic prowess, Cook maintained a 3.4 GPA in his junior year, showing that he works hard in the classroom too. Cook also played a big part in his community. He volunteered his time to the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. He also donated his time and efforts through his local church.
Last summer, Cook committed to playing basketball at LSU prior to his senior year. Cook received full-ride scholarships to play basketball and football before ultimately deciding to play basketball for the Tigers. He is the first LSU recruit from Livingston Parish since Tasmin Mitchell.
— Jalen Cook ™ (@jalen3cook) June 19, 2019
Towards the end of his senior basketball season, Cook accomplished something extraordinary. He eclipsed the 3,000-point mark in January when Walker played East Ascension. Cook feasted for 51 points that night. Just four days earlier, he scored a career-high 53 points against Catholic High School.
When March rolled around, Cook was poised to lead his team to another championship. As a No. 9 seed, Walker beat its first three opponents by a margin of 23 points before losing to Bonnabel in the semifinals.
After a successful prep career, he is now aiming to prosper at the college level. Cook joins a Tigers basketball team that had a 21-10 record and finished second in the SEC during the 2019-20 regular season.
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) November 13, 2019