After a slow start to his Tarleton State basketball career last season, center Romond Jenkins became a force in the paint for the Texans as the season went along and is working to become one of the country’s top big men in the off-season.

As the season 2015 season began, Jenkins sat out several of the early games, but when he got onto the court, things went as expected.

“I had to get adjusted to playing at a high level again and that isn’t easy to do, especially when you’re playing at a program like Tarleton and in the Lone Star Conference,” he said.

After a slow start statistically, Jenkins eventually emerged as a star in the paint. He finished the season shooting 66 percent from the field and averaged 7.2 points per game to go along with a 7.7 rebounds per game, good for fourth in the LSC.

That turnaround didn’t come easy. Jenkins said it started in practice and that his coaches and hard work got him to that point.

“It’s like the more I play, the better I get,” he said. “I just kept working hard during practice and after practice with the coaches on some one-on-one stuff and moves down low. I knew my defense was always going to be there, but the offensive side of the ball is something that definitely improved.”

With Jenkins playing a pivotal role, the Texans went on to have another fantastic season. They finished as regional champions for the fourth time in school history and made a second straight Elite Eight appearance. However, even with another successful season under the Texans’ belt, Jenkins isn’t satisfied.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” said Jenkins. “It was great getting back to the Elite Eight, but the loss to Augustana was a tough one. My goal next year is definitely to win a national championship, that’s my goal and the entire team’s every single year.”

As to how that he’ll accomplish that goal, it all starts on the court and how he prepares this off-season.

“I’m going to get in the gym and weight room all summer,” he said. “I want to be in the best shape that I can be in when school starts. I’m going to try to be the best leader out there for my teammates. I’m going to be a senior and a returning player. I know what my role is and I’m going to try and be the best that I can to accomplish the goal of a national championship.”