Jermaine Dearman celebrates with teammates after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2002 NCAA tournament. Dearman led the Salukis to a 19 point comeback in the game and took them all the way to the Sweet 16. Photo provided by Jonathan Daniel.
Former SIU basketball player Jermaine Dearman was given the nickname “Big Game Jermaine” for his over comings off the basketball court and his clutch performances on the court.
Almost 10 years later, he can still be watched making clutch plays in Turkey.
Dearman, a 6-foot-8-inch, 220-pound power forward from Indianapolis now plays for Hacettepe University in Turkey, and he has played there for the past three seasons after his successful SIU career.
He was a key player during his time at SIU and helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2002 for the first time in school history.
Dearman played for four seasons and became one of the top subs off the bench as a freshman in 1999-2000, when he averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He was second on the team with 13 blocked shots, according to SIU’s athletic website.
The strong and athletic Dearman developed into one of the top front court players in the Missouri Valley Conference, and it showed when he was a sophomore and finished second on the team in scoring, first in rebounding and first in blocked shots in the 2000-2001 season.
He averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 20 blocked shots per game That year, and he started only 14 out of 30 games that season. In that same season, Dearman recorded six double-doubles and had double-figure points in 17 games during his part-time starting role.
His best year as a Saluki came as a junior in 2001-2002 when “Big Game Jermaine” had top-notch performances, especially in the post-season. During that year, he averaged 12.3 points per game, lead the team in rebounding at 7.7 per game and blocked 20 shots.
As his nickname suggests, Dearman performed best in big-game situations and came up huge in the NCAA Tournament that year.
In the NCAA Tournament he led the team in scoring at 19.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He also led the Salukis to the Sweet 16. Dearman received Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors for his performance on the court that season.
He finished his Saluki career averaging 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds his senior season in 2002-2003.
Now, at 30-years-old, Dearman can be watched playing the game he knows best for Hacettepe University where his statistics steadily increase, averaging 14 points per game in 2008, 15.5 points in 2009 and 16.9 points in 2010.
Terrance Peacock can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 269.