Forbes cements legacy at Eastern

The senior guard establishes himself in Eagle basketball history

By Kelly Manalo, Staff Writer



Jeff Forbes
Jeffrey Forbes defends against Sam Houston.

Jeffrey Forbes holds the record for career starts, sixth in career steals, third in 3-pointers made, second in 3-pointer attempts and is the 16th Eagle in history to surpass 1,000 points.

What Forbes has accomplished is not easy. “Jeff [Forbes] has fought through a lot of injuries, and that’s just a testament to how he’s taken care of his body as an athlete and being disciplined,” said head men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford.

“I don’t think he’s played a game this year where he’s felt 100 percent. He’s had a lot adversity. He plays through pain and he’s very tough,” said Hayford.

Forbes was offered a scholarship because he had a burning desire to compete, according to Kirk Earlywine, former head basketball coach.

“[Forbes] scoring 1,000 points in his career is an unbelievable accomplishment and a testament to him because he only had one Division I scholarship [offer] coming out of high school,” said Earlywine.

Forbes played for one of the premier high school programs in the state at Federal Way. “He played for a terrific high school coach, Jerome Collins,” said Earlywine. “He was extremely well coached by Jerome Collins.”

“He came in as a freshman and was not a highly-touted recruit. There were a lot of people around Big Sky checking my sanity for signing him. In my eyes, he’s proven those people wrong.”

Forbes is a great leader with high character and a large work capacity, according to Earlywine.

“If you want to be the best, you got to set yourself at a high bar. When someone else is sleeping you can be working out, that’s what Jerome [Collins] always taught me. I just took that [advice] and ran with it,” said Forbes.

“He’s going to be in the top five in all-time in 3-pointers made at Eastern Washington University. His name is all over the record books,” said Earlywine.

“I’m equally as proud of Kevin Winford and Jeffrey Forbes,” said Earlywine.

Winford and Forbes have been on the same team with each other for four years. They are roommates and best friends.

“I know he’s very proud of [making 1,000 points]. His family’s very proud of it. We’re all very proud of it,” said senior guard Winford.

“I’m also so proud of him academically, he’s on course to graduate to get his degree, proud of his citizenship and everything that he’s become. I couldn’t be more happy for him,” said Collins.

“You couldn’t ask for a better young man with values and how he lives his life, from what he does academically, his effort level in the classroom, how he treats people and how he interacts with people. That’s really a testament to his parents and especially his mom, Jill,” said Earlywine.

“[Training] is just all about repetition and trying to set yourself up to be successful and be the top player that you can be. It’s all about the levels of basketball that you create for yourself and the goals that you want to reach,” Forbes said.

“I expect tremendous effort [from Forbes] and [he] is the best example everyday to the rest of the team,” said Hayford. Forbes shows his teammates how hard you have to work to be successful, and he brings it every single day.

Forbes said himself that he is competitive and tries to help out his team by doing everything he can.

Every summer since Forbes graduated from high school he has volunteer coached Federal Way High School’s basketball team.

This year, Federal Way was ranked number two in the state for most of the season, but their season was recently cut short. Forbes texted Collins to send a message to the team saying, “Keep your head up and remember the hurt, and let it propel you for next year.”

“That’s so typical of him,” said Collins.

Forbes volunteers because he loves the program, his former coach and the players. “It’s always great to give back to a program that’s successful and that you helped build,” said Forbes.

“It’s all about me helping [the players] progress, telling them what it’s like, the steps to get there and how to get there. It’s just a great feeling knowing you can help another kid out the same way that someone helped you out.”

“[Basketball] builds character in you, and it makes you a stronger person. It takes you from a boy to a man really quick. You just want to keep growing as a person and as a basketball player all in one,” said Forbes.

“I’ve played against Damian Lillard and he plays for the [Portland] Trail Blazers and he’s going to get rookie of the year, I believe. He went to Weber State. So you just look at guys like that and you look at how they set the tone and you just want to compete against guys that are at that level. You don’t want to go down, you want to go up,” said Forbes.