Off The Court

Mason Hughes, Reporter

Success can be compared to the tip of an iceberg, while everyone can see the achievements and fortune above the surface, it is what is hidden under the surface that counts. The much larger portion of an iceberg that is hidden under the surface can be compared to the hard work, dedication, and effort that goes into building the tip of the iceberg.

In the world of high school sports, spectators rarely witness the time and dedication that goes into competing at the high school level. Sophomore Jayden Hughes is on the junior varsity basketball team with the desire of earning a spot on the highly sought-after varsity roster. Jayden was twelve years old when he decided to play basketball.

“Stephen Curry inspired me to play basketball, and the Golden State Warriors championship run in 2015-2016,” Jayden said.

At the time, basketball was completely new to Jayden, and the only sport he had played prior to basketball was baseball.

“It was very confusing, but you just gotta push through it and it will pay off and make sense eventually,” he said.        

Jayden was focused on making a good impression of himself during his first basketball game, as he explained that he felt it was the most important so far.

“My first game was [the most important to me] because you have a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to do.”

Jayden has improved a lot since then, and he can attribute that improvement to the hard work he has done off the court. Basketball is one of the most physically demanding sports, and thus requires plenty of training. However, during the season it is key for players to stay healthy while maintaining physical fitness.

“You really only have time on the weekends to get in real work so you have to find time during school days and then on weekends to work every chance you get.” Jayden said.

While the junior varsity team is primarily focused on winning games, many of the players have a secondary goal in mind, to earn a spot on varsity. Teammates are competitive with each other at practice and are focused on improving themselves each and every week, absorbing as much as they can from the varsity players.

“We want to develop as a team more and get closer [to work] with each other and our own skills.”

Prior to a game, Jayden likes to keep it calm and collected in the locker room.

“I really just listen to music and review free throw routines and routine plays.”

Like the majority of high school basketball players, Jayden is a fan of the NBA. While being inspired by Stephen Curry to play basketball, he models his playstyle after a different NBA superstar. 

“I play like Jason Tatum, because he is an average height player, but has a good handle[on the ball], and a good shot.”

While Jayden is only a sophomore in high school and still has plenty of learning and playing to do, he has already taken away a lot from the game of basketball off the court. 

“It let me know that if I really want something, I can put in the work and it will come to me.”