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"I'm the poster child for legacy. This team is a part of my direct lineage, built on the shoulders of players who ultimately forged their own path through the negro leagues, down to my grandfather and father, who both played baseball here at Bringston. I play to honor all those great men. I play to remind the next generation that we belong in this sport. And I'm keeping the legacy going so my future son, and your son, and any son, can one day continue the tradition and play baseball here at Bringston." ― JR's speech to sponsors[source]

Jesse "JR" Raymond Jr. is a main character in "All American: Homecoming". He is portrayed by Sylvester Powell.

An Atlanta native and varsity baseball player, Jessie became friends with Damon as teen ballplayers on the national scene. Though he is skilled and hard-working, he doesn’t have Damon’s natural gift on the field. His dedication and hard work make up for what he lacks in raw talent. A member of Kappa Epsilon Kappa fraternity and a natural born leader, he is the heart and soul of the team. However, he has a tendency to run from confrontation and the people who hurt him. As Damon settles into Bringston, J.R. finds himself struggling to live in Damon’s shadow both on and off the field.

Biography

Throughout All American

Throughout All American: Homecoming

In Atlanta, Georgia, Damon Sims does a press conference with his mother. She discusses him giving up the pros to save the HBCUs baseball program. She disagrees with his career change. He and JR go to the field to practice, and he makes JR go hard no matter what.

Damon and JR go back to their dorm, where Damon doubles down on the pitcher and catcher being the heart of the team. They have to set the tone. JR knows it’s for the best after the scandal. JR knows the team will bounce back. Especially since they have Damon and Coach Turner in their corner. Damon isn’t sure the teammates will accept him, but JR suggests he change his tone instead of reminding everyone he gave up the pros for Bringston. Coach Turner gives a speech to the team, and they tease him for the long monologue. The team practices on the field. Damon continues to strike out the batters. Turner tells Damon to pull it back. When he doesn’t listen, Damon is pulled from the game. Damon tries to protest, but Turner tells him to shut up so he can run practice and find their weaknesses. Damon knows they’re all weak as the starters were suspended, and Santiago is too emotional. His speech is overheard by the team - including JR. Turner tells him to get off the field and into the dugout. Damon refuses as he didn’t give up the pros to sit in anyone’s dugout. He walks off the field despite Turner’s protests.

JR plays video games while Damon rants about Turner and how unfair the situation is. His enrollment in BU is contingent on Turner being his coach. JR thinks he should trust Turner. Damon accuses him of not knowing the severity of the situation, but JR counters as he’s well aware. JR is on a baseball scholarship, and the stakes are high for everyone, as they all have something to lose if the program gets cut. Damon should try thinking of someone else for once. He leaves to get the bonfire started.

They head to a bonfire where JR, the Fraternity leader of Kappa Epsilon Kappa, gives a welcome speech. He makes them repeat after him, “I am! Brilliant! I am! A leader! I am! Black excellence! We are…Bringston Lions”. Even Damon is lured into the power chant. The students dance around the bonfire to the DJ’ed music. Damon talks to JR and apologizes to him. JR’s been a solid friend since they met on the 15U National Team, and he’s been an ass since his enrollment. JR agrees with the statement. Damon adds that all he knows is competitive baseball, the pressure to win, to get on the MLB’s radar, but he came to Bringston to be part of something real, something better. He just lost track of that for a bit. JR promises to keep him on track, as life is too short to beef with his brother.

The next day at the scrimmage, Leonard Shaw arrives and upsets the Lions. Marcus wonders if Hawkins knows the reason Shaw was fired - that he was behind the fake classes for his players. Shaw chuckles that he resigned and since there was no NCAA violation, Hawkins didn’t have a problem with how he runs his program or raises champions. He adds that Bringston baseball is nothing without him. He built the program and promises no one will forget that. He tells him to buckle up. With that, commences a not-so-friendly scrimmage game. JR is up at the bat and misses his first swing. Shaw laughs that JR doesn’t want that smoke, and JR misses the second swing as Shawn continues to chastise him from across the field. Marcus cheers JR on. He hits the third swing but the catcher catches the ball and he’s out.

That evening, as everyone packs up Simone’s room, Damon, JR, and Cam arrive with power tools. Nate appreciates the image but wonders why they’re there. Damon admits they’re going to put up the curtain rods. Simone appreciates the sweet offer but she’s moving out so they are off the hook. Cam thanks her and gets ready to leave when Amara stops him as there is plenty of manual labor that needs to be done, and if they’re lucky, there’s a meal at the end of it. JR laughs that she had him at a meal. Damon and Simone exchange a smile.

At Amara’s house, the group sits around the table and laughs over dinner. Cam thanks Amara for the meal, and she acknowledges that any friend of Simone is welcome anytime. Nate wonders if the food will be this good so they can make it a regular thing. Simone likes that idea - a family dinner once a week. Simone thanks everyone for not only helping her move but everything else they have done for her in their short time together. She wouldn’t have made it the past few days without them. Amara knows she would as she’s resilient. Keisha adds that the same goes for Ms. P, as everyone heard rumors about them cutting back on her classes. This is news to Simone, but Amara assures everyone it’s okay. Keisha knows it’s not okay but as a people, they should be standing behind her for doing what’s right not tearing her down. Nate adds that everyone has her back - they aren’t going to let them take Amara from everyone. Amara doesn’t plan to let that happen either. She was rattled at first, but the youngins have inspired her. She plans to share her knowledge in any way that she can. She then has them help clean up the dinner. JR overhears Damon talking about his adoption and how family comes in all forms. What she and her aunt have is special and she knows that. She gets up to help clear the table, and JR walks over, admitting he wasn't aware Damon was adopted. Damon reveals that his birth parents are Bringston alum, and that’s all he knows about them. He isn't interested in anything else either. JR looks serious as Damon walks away.

JR rushes back to his dorm and pulls a box down from the top of his closet. Inside are trophies and other sports paraphernalia. Near the bottom is a bible, which has two inscriptions - the top is written to JR’s mother from her mother. The bottom wishes JR a happy communion as the bible has been with her since her communion. He flips through the pages and finds a photograph of a little boy tucked in the pages. He thinks back on Damon admitting his parents were Bringston alumni. Now, JR admits that his parents were alumni too.[1]

A few days later, JR is at the diamond looking at the photograph of the little boy he found. Damon confronts him for being absent, so JR claims that being an only child made him appreciate his personal time. He asks Damon if he has siblings but he doesn’t. JR thinks that’s why he has trouble relating to the team. Damon knows he’s been hard on them lately, with JR calling that an understatement. The vote for team captain is that week and the team will vote for Damon. JR encourages him to find another way to bond with the team - and dial it back 25% as he’s a real pain in the ass. As the team drills, a group of players watches a video of the “new Damon Sims”. He’s a seventeen-year-old kid from Ohio named Emmitt Page. In the video, Emmitt doesn’t consider him the next anyone but will take his shot at the MLB if he can. Damon tries to brush it off but is upset by the remarks.

Simone works out in the gym then heads to Elaine Loni’s office only to find the only court time left is close to her interview. JR advises her that early morning practices always run late and to avoid 8:00 classes. Her next class is in Height Hall and he laughs and encourages her to run if she wants to make it on time. The next day, Damon and JR walk the campus as Damon apologizes for being extra. He has to bond with the team and JR suggests something off the field.

After classes, Damon invites JR to Keisha's where a small study group is taking place. JR arrives with the baseball team, as parties are a great place to make an impression. Keisha accepts the party while Simone is not pleased. After a while, The opposing team arrives to harass the baseball team for being trash. JR steps up and dares them to say something else, and they leave instead. They chastise Damon for not standing up. This creates a falling out between JR and Damon, as JR refuses to come to Simone's celebratory dinner because of Damon's presence.

Damon calls the team together the next night under false pretenses so they would come. They go to leave, so he apologizes for being a lot lately. He admits the pressure is getting to him, and he worries about letting them down. Santiago points out that Damon is scared. JR thinks fear can be used as motivation if they do it together. Damon elects JR as being the team captain. JR is the kind of leader they need, including himself. The vote is unanimous, and JR accepts, so the boys praise him. They decide to play video games when Marcus emerges. They quickly cover up the controllers. JR and Damon take responsibility for the antics. Marcus decided to play next. Damon tells Marcus he was right about being in his own head. Marcus knew he had to figure it out on his own, and he did. The team collectively plays video games.[2]

The baseball team loses another game by a run. Damon thinks it’s progress - they didn’t lose by a lot. Marcus tells them to keep their heads up as he’s proud of them for their hard work. JR tells Marcus they need to do something about the morale, and Marcus knows it will hurt a lot until they can do that. Damon and JR propose new equipment but the money isn’t there. Damon asks if individual sponsorships are available, but Marcus doesn’t want the boys to compete with one another. JR knows Damon is going to make some calls anyway. He’s just going to see if anyone is interested and will worry about Marcus later.

At practice, Damon and JR try to earn money a different way when they notice a sponsor in the stands, courtesy of Damon’s mother, Keena, who just arrived. Damon jogs onto the field and JR introduces himself to Keena. He asks about Damon’s scar and she admits he’s had it since he was a baby. When she leaves, JR looks at a photo of the baby picture he found and notices the fresh cut on the forehead.

At a sponsorship meeting, Damon takes the stage in front of everyone. He invites the team up on the stage with him as he gives a speech about why he chose Bringston, its legacy, and the baseball team. Tonight isn’t about him but also his teammates. One by one, the teammates give speeches about their lives and what they represent. Marcus plays a video they put together of the team to sell everyone on their team. It is voiced over by JR’s speech to the students on bonfire night. Afterward, a man introduces himself and promises to be in touch as he was impressed. The team is elated to have landed one of the biggest sponsors. Damon admits they didn’t land the deal as someone promising to be in touch means they won’t be.

At dinner with Amara, the teens talk happily. Simone notices JR looking at Damon and Marcus in an odd way. He has to tell someone and pulls Simone aside, making her promise to keep things between them. She agrees and they talk in private. JR admits to thinking Damon is his biological brother. When he was a toddler he swore his parents had another baby, but one day, the baby was just gone. Everyone acted like it never happened, and he thought he’d made it all up until a few years ago when he found a picture of that baby in a bible his mom gave him. The baby looks a lot like Damon - right down to the scar. Simone is surprised and JR elaborates that both their birth parents to Bringston. Simone admits that Marcus and Amara went to Bringston and were a serious couple until something super personal came between them. JR doesn’t think that’s the case as they both could be jumping to conclusions. Simone counters that one of them could be right. Thea admits to the group she’s always wanted to pole dance, and Keisha has the perfect cap for her birthday. The girls pole dance at a dance studio while Simone watches, looking at the baby photo JR sent.[3]

Personality

Physical Appearance

Appearances

Notes and Trivia

Gallery

References

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