The 37th Annual Buddy LaRosa High School Sports Hall of Fame - Jelani Brandon
There’s little doubt in the community of Erlanger that Jelani Brandon was the finest athlete ever at Lloyd Memorial. A three-sport star, Jelani excelled in football, baseball and track during his record-setting career for the Juggernauts. He is the first athlete in Lloyd history to be named to the LaRosa’s High School Hall of Fame.
An outstanding two-way starter in football, Jelani signed with the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship. He was drafted in the sixth round of the June 1992 Baseball Free Agent Draft by the Kansas City Royals. He signed a professional contract and played for the Royals organization until he suffered a career-ending injury (his first as an athlete) in 1996.
Brandon earned nine varsity letters during his high school career. He was a four-year starter in both football and baseball. As a senior, he had 50 receptions for 1,074 yards (21.48 yard per catch average). He scored 22 touchdowns and had 8 pass interceptions.
He won numerous awards in football, being named First Team All-Kentucky by both the Associated Press and Louisville Courier-Journal. He was named to the Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star Game, was the Famous Recipe Player of the Year (1991), the Northern Kentucky Class A Defensive Player of the Year, the Boone County Recorder Player of the Year and winner of the Marty Kehoe Award (emblematic of the Top Player in Northern Kentucky).
In baseball, Jelani was a four-year starter as outfielder/pitcher. As a senior he batted .423 with six home runs, 23 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He also threw an 8-inning no-hitter with 20 strikeouts. He also ran track as a senior and was a member of the 400-meter relay team that finished runnerup in the 1992 state championship.
Currently, Jelani Brandon, who graduated from the Ohio State University, works in Software Development in Test for Microsoft in Seattle with his wife, Angie, and their children Tai (12), Avery (10) and Jada (7).