As the high school basketball season winds down, Hobbs senior Jalen Goar is drawing closer and closer to some magical numbers.
Five seasons ago, Goar became the first eighth grader in the history of Hobbs boys’ basketball to suit up and play for the Eagles. Since then, Goar has not only been a mainstay for the Eagles’ program, he has also left his mark. Last Saturday he became one of just two players in Eagle history with 200 career three-pointers, and he is doing it with players he spent his entire life sharing a court.
“I have been playing with these guys since the fourth, fifth grade,” Goar said. “There are 10 seniors on the team, and we are all like family. We just go out there and have fun every night.”
As a freshman (2018-19), Goar sank 78 three-pointers, fourth most in Eagles’ single-season history. He also swished eight from behind the arc that season in a game against Miyamura, tying the school record for second most in a game.
That season put Goar’s name on the map.
A year later, as a sophomore, he continued to be a dangerous three-point shooter, sinking 55 more. After two seasons, Goar had 133 treys, fourth most in school history. After two seasons as a starter, Goar trailed Eagle career record holder Rod Hutchings (1993-96) by just 84 treys, with two years left to play.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head and got in Goar’s way. Unlike most states across the nation, sports were not allowed in New Mexico for over a year. When sports finally did return, athletes in New Mexico were given abbreviated schedules as all sports, fall, winter, and spring, were crammed into early March to late June 2021.
When basketball took the court in late March, teams were allowed 12 games and were required to travel as little as possible. For a team like Hobbs, with few teams in its area, that made finding games hard. Add in that Texas had already completed its season, during a normal schedule, and the Eagles were unable to pick up any extra games against those teams.
Because of all this, the Eagles played just 10 games. Losing close to 20 games from the schedule was a big blow for Goar’s chance at the record. Still, Goar didn’t let that bother him, or stop him, as he sank 22 treys, giving him 155 for his career, second most in school history.
Entering his senior year, Goar knew the record was within sight, but it wasn’t his focus. Before the season even tipped off, Goar secured his future by signing his national letter of intent with Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Following that, his goal was to get the Eagles back into the playoffs, something the team missed out on during the COVID-19 shortened 2021 season.
“Winning the championship is the most important thing,” Goar said. “Just keep going out there night in and night out and do what we do.”
Back to the record, though, Goar started the 2021-22 season needing 62 treys to catch Hutchings, and 63 to pass him. But, that wasn’t all that was within reach for Goar as he was also within striking distance of the New Mexico Activities Association career Top 10. Bryce Hill of Clovis (2005-08) is currently 10th with 223.
Goar became just the second Hobbs Eagle to record 200 career treys during a home game against Cleveland last Saturday. He got his 200th with 4:10 left in the third quarter. He sank another one later in the game, for good measure, giving him 201.
“It was just a blessing,” Goar said of recording his 200th career trey. “I just want to thank God first. I have worked my whole life, shooting the ball and working on my game. It is really emotional. It is crazy that this can happen to me.”
Tuesday night, Goar went wild with the treys, sinking seven more in a win over Lovington, giving him 208 for his career. He is now 10 away from the record.
“No pressure at all,” Goar said. “I’m just going to go out there and let the game come to me. Whatever is there is there.”