NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Porter-Gaud alum Josiah James had his best game of the season on Wednesday night scoring 17 points with 9 rebounds in Tennessee’s win over Arkansas. It came just days after a fire at his family’s home in North Charleston destroyed all of his possessions.
The North Charleston fire department confirmed that there had been a fire at the home on Bengal Road just before 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day. According to the department, firefighters arrived and found smoke inside a residence and found fire in the attic space. They then extinguished the fire in the attic and checked for any fire extension through the rest of the home.
Luckily, no one was injured and the structure of the home is still standing. But James’ room, which contained all of his belongings, suffered extensive damage.
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said Josiah’s mother waited until after the team’s game on Saturday to let him know about the fire.
“he is the kind of guy that keeps locked in himself, and I am sure he has not been home in a while, but he is probably thinking back that it is all gone. He lost everything in his room.” Barnes said after the Vols win on Wednesday.
“I remember the night we went in and recruited him. I went up into his room, and he had a North Carolina poster in his room. All I said to him is I told him how sorry we were about what had happened, but at least that poster got burnt up. But he handles it well, and he is such a mature guy. But his mom just said for us to keep an eye on him because he is the kind of guy that will hold things in.”
The coach also went on to praise the sophomore guard who’s averaging 9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game so far this season.
“he is such a hard worker, and he is as good of a teammate as you want to be around. And he is quickly starting to become the voice of this team in terms of talking during timeouts talking to guys when they are down. He is the first guy to go up to them, and encourage guys, and all those kinds of things. But I am sure somewhere in the back of his mind he has thought a lot about it. But obviously, his main thought was that everybody was safe. But I am sure it will even hit him more when the season is over with, and he goes home, and it is not home anymore.”