The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Penguins center from Santa Rosa could have gone far from home but thought the best place for him academically and athletically was to come to Dominican where his mother, Jan, could keep an eye on him. It’s a 40-minute drive on the freeway for her.
“She wanted me to go wherever I wanted to go but I love my mom and I love being close to her and I love the fact she can watch me at my home games,” Noisat said. “And I’ve always liked this school.”
Mother and son have a unique bond. Jan Noisat has been widowed since her husband Joe – Jacob’s dad – was killed in a car accident in 1999 when Jacob was 10 years old.
Noisat’s devotion to his mother was evident when he delayed his college basketball career out of Elsie Allen High School to go work at a Safeway store. Jan Noisat had lost her job so her son filled the void until his mother got back on her feet financially.
In other words, Noisat stepped up to the plate for the good of the team when needed. Ironically, baseball was his first love growing up in Santa Rosa until Noisat had a growth spurt – he grew eight inches between eight grade and his freshman year in high school – led him in another direction.
An All-Redwood Empire first team basketball player in high school, Noisat eventually picked Cal State East Bay in Hayward to pursue his collegiate career. However, because of philosophical differences, Noisat transferred the next year to nearby Chabot College.
Dominican coach Booker T. Harris first laid eyes on Noisat when Harris was an assistant coach at Metro State in Denver and he was watching his younger brother Eddy’s junior college team, Skyline, play Noisat’s Chabot team. Harris was eyeballing Noisat’s teammate, a 7-footer Kyle Luckett who in 2005 entered the NBA draft out of high school and is currently playing professionally in Hungary.
Noisat, a Humanities major, was one of Harris’ first recruits when he became Dominican’s coach in May 2011. They were on the same page about almost everything except hair. Noisat likes to wear his long, like his dad, and Harris prefers that it be much shorter.
“He doesn’t have to completely buzz if off. Just clean that thing up,” Harris said, smiling.
In his first season at Dominican, Noisat led the Penguins in scoring and rebounding. His mother attended all his home games and he believes his father was watching over him. Noisat has a tattoo of a praying angel on his right bicep with an inscription below it that reads “R.I.P. Daddy. 10-4-49 to 10-18-99.”
“He’s matured from where he was as a player when he was younger,” Harris said. “He has shown an ability to be a team leader. He definitely has a knack for talking.”
With a roster that featured nine new faces from the 2010-11 season, communication was good trait for Noisat to possess. The team was rising together for 6 a.m. practices in Conlan Center. Plus, the Penguins played 10 of their first 11 games this season on the road in 2011.
“It’s a bunch of different personalities coming together. But we’re a close team. It’s just a matter of the basketball coming together,” Noisat said. “I love it here. We’ve got a great group of guys. Conference play is starting (January 3) and we can make progress.”
Noisat has the Penguins headed in the right direction. And his mother doesn’t need directions to see that.