Leon James Park

Mary Key Brocato

Soon children and adults alike will be enjoying the professional basketball
Goals and posts being installed at Leon James Park located on Martin Luther King Drive in Many.

The equipment, which is the highest grade possible, was made possible by generous donations from the private sector. Local businesses, politicians, elected officials, and many other citizens donated to the cause.

A man who grew up in Many but now lives in Houston, TX., gave one of the largest donations. Luckily, he remembers his hometown community and the people who live there with great fondness.

Jaret J. Barrett contacted Many Alderman at Large Mary Brocato, who had started the fundraiser to obtain donations to purchase and install the basketball equipment. He asked her how much money in order to purchase two goals so the park would have a full basketball court. She told him it was a substantial amount. He drove to Many that same weekend and brought her a check for the remaining substantial sum.

Born in 1978 to Sandra Barrett and Jerry Smith, Jaret developed a love for people, sports and his hometown of Many that gave him his roots and early upbringing. Later his mom moved, and he transferred to Spring Woods High School where he excelled in football and basketball. While there he honed in on his gift for athletics and teamwork. While Jaret attended Spring Woods, he caught the attention of a coach at Mayde Creek High School. He transferred to that school, and finished his high school sports career when he graduated in 2003.

After his high school graduation, Jaret started his college education at Texas Southern University. He was told that the college’s basketball team would not be taking on any walk-on players.  However he remained persistent and an opportunity came up for one walk on player. Out of 65 students who tried out, Jaret was the only one selected. The rest was history.

While at Texas Southern, he led his team to the SWAC Championship where they won their division and became state champions.

He later graduated from Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree and was the first member of his family to graduate from college.

After he graduated, Jaret played professional basketball overseas. He played for China 2007 to 2009. He then played for the South American country of Panama in2009.

Jaret returned to the United States where he worked hard and transferred that love and energy for sports to his family and to establishing a business.

Today he is the successful owner of a pest control and power wash business in Houston.


To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.