Gwynn Park (Md.) 2019 Guard Jalen Hayes.
In a season of change at Gwynn Park (Md.), 2019 guard Jalen Hayes has been one of the constants.
The lone returning starter from last year, Hayes has helped the Yellow Jackets’ transition to new coach Rob Garner’s system following the departure of longtime coach Michael Glick last summer. The 5-foot-11, 155-pounder has starred for Gwynn Park this season, averaging 25 points and 4 assists per game.
After a win over Suitland (Md.) at the inaugural PG Challenge at Eleanor Roosevelt, Hayes took some time to discuss this season, his recruitment and more:
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW THE SEASON HAS GONE?
“We’ve had some tough times, but right now we’re on the upper end and going on a win streak. We’ve got two more games coming up with no practice, and I think we can get them both.”
HOW HAS THE TRANSITION TO COACH GARNER BEEN?
“With Coach Rob, it’s more about the discipline piece. He’s big on order and concentration, and it shows; down in crunch time we can concentrate and pull out a win.”
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS IT SYSTEM-WISE?
“I played one year with Coach Glick [Hayes spent his first two season at National Christian]. It’s a more complex system and there’s more principles you have to really lock in and understand.”
HOW IS YOUR RECRUITMENT GOING?
“Recruitment-wise, I have one offer [Central Connecticut State] and I have a lot of interest from D-2 schools and that’s really it.”
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A SCHOOL?
“I’m looking at somewhere I can go and produce, and also that can help me academically.”
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE STRENGTH OF YOUR GAME?
“My strength would be my IQ, and my scoring ability without forcing shots - in the flow of the game. The biggest thing I want to work on is my athleticism right now; [for] being able to stay in front of quicker guards at the next level.”
DID YOU PLAY ANY OTHER SPORTS GROWING UP?
“Football, but I stopped in the 10th grade and it was just basketball after that. I played wide receiver.”
WHAT IS IT ABOUT BASKETBALL YOU ENJOY MOST?
“I like that when things get difficult, it’s less people you have to rely on. Like, everybody has bigger roles in basketball and bigger responsibilities where you have to lock in and contribute.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OFF THE COURT?
“Paintballing. That’s really it; I’ll go do paintball every time. I’ve been doing it since I was about 10 and you can go any season.”
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE BASKETBALL MEMORY?
“The first thing that jumps to mind is in middle school - 7th grade - I got cut from the team. I transferred to my neighborhood school and I made the team there, and our first game we played the team I got cut from and I had 35 the first game of the season.”