Charles Goes Pro

Former Revere High basketball star signs pro-contract with Dominican Republic League

Former Revere High basketball star Gerald Jean Charles Jr. will realize his dream of playing professional basketball when he signs a contract to compete in a league in the Dominican Republic in May.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to play professionally,” said Charles. “It’s always been a dream to compete at the highest level and basketball is really becoming popular in the Dominican Republic.”

Charles, who played collegiately at Salem State University, was offered the pro contract by Luis Hernandez, who is a player agent and the team owner and player-coach of 94 Elite.

Martinez said he was impressed by Charles’ superb dribbling and passing skills and accurate mid-range shooting. He expects Charles to be a major contributor in the team’s backcourt rotation.

“His ability to facilitate in the offense is exceptional and he has a great mid-range pull-up jumper, which is very underrated because nowadays basketball is all three-pointers,” said Martinez. “The fact that he has mastered the mid-ranger is going to differentiate himself from everybody else. He has a lot of heart, especially at his height (5-foot-8) so I think that’s something that’s going to attract a lot of  fans to come and watch him play basketball.”

The league – known as the International Superior Tournament – is based in Higuey, Dominican Republic, which is about 20 minutes away from Punta Cana.

Started playing hoop in the seventh grade

The son of Gerald Jean Charles Sr. and Marie Jean Charles, who are of Haitian descent, Gerald came to the United States at the age of 3. He has four brothers, Ricardo, Jerry, Giovanni, and Jeffrey, and is a cousin of NFL Draft prospect Ivan Mertilus of Revere who excelled in the 2021 Hula Bowl college all-star game in Hawaii.

Charles attended Garfield Middle School and began his basketball career in seventh grade for the Revere travel team coached by Patrick Hayes and Derek Anemoduris (who was later one of his coaches at RHS). He also played in the Immaculate Conception youth league.

He became a three-year starter at Revere High School, graduating in 2017. A point guard and playmaker, Charles averaged doubles figures, including a sizzling 22 points per game as a sophomore. He was instrumental in the program’s resurgence as David Leary’s Patriots qualified for the MIAA State Tournament for the first time in 18 years during his senior year.  He finished his career with 850 points.

“We made it to the state tournament in my senior year after we started 3-9 and won 10 of our last 11 games,” said Charles. “I really enjoyed playing high school basketball with talented players and great friends like Curtis High, Brendan Hayes, Mass Joof, John DiGregorio and Marvin Urdaneta. And my coaches (Adam Rizzo, David Leary, and Derek Anemoduris) really helped me improve.”

Revere Director of Athletics Frank Shea remembers Gerald Jean Charles as a hard-working, unselfish player who involved everyone in the offense and was clutch in late-game situations.

“Obviously we’re very pleased when one of our alumni go on and play a sport in college and receive their degree,” said Shea. “To have this opportunity to play pro basketball is exciting and on behalf of the entire Revere High athletic program I wish him the best in the Dominican Republic.”

During his career at RHS, Charles was in correspondence with several college basketball programs, including Division 2 Assumption College who had recruited him. He ultimately chose Salem State University, where he contributed as a guard on an MASCAC championship squad that lost in the first round of the NCAA Division 3 Tournament.

“I actually got cut from the Salem State team as a freshman and came back to make the team my sophomore year,” said Charles. “But overall it was a good experience winning a championship and going to the NCAA Tournament.”

Charles did not intend to play college basketball this winter though the season was eventually canceled due to the pandemic. He will receive his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing in May.

Building his basketball resume

Charles said his goal in the Dominican Republic League is “to do my best and potentially get a bigger contract for a national team.”

Charles would be eligible to earn a berth on the Haiti men’s national basketball team. He also has his sights on Liga National de BaloncestoProfesional, which is the top professional league in Mexico.

“I want my game to get some more exposure and have an opportunity to play basketball in Mexico,” said Charles.

In addition to finishing his college studies this semester, Charles works at a local funeral home, as well as Kelly Chrysler Jeep in Lynnfield and Pollo Royal in Revere.

He’s also dedicatedly working on his basketball game under the guidance of Bunker Hill head coach Nkrumah Jones of the Jones Basketball Group and hoping that his array of talents on the hardwood can lead to other professional opportunities in a sport he has loved for a long time.

When he begins his pro career, Charles will be wearing No. 2 on his jersey in honor of his favorite player, six-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving, who wore that number when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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