One on One: Jaylen Brantley ‘13 - Point Guard - Wilbraham & Monson and BABC - Boys Basketball
Jaylen Brantley '13 just came off one of the biggest showings of his young basketball career as the Wilbraham & Monson point guard lead the BABC to the 2011 Nike EYBL championship at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC. Brantley scored a game high 24 points in the 84-67 win over YOMCA (Memphis, TN). The sharp shooter displayed improving a deadly three-point stroke and improving skills that had many scouts taking notice.
The Springfield native has had quite a summer as it also began with the devastating tornado and storms that hit his family's Springfield (MA) home and devastated his community.
We caught up with the poised point guard in a One-on-One interview where he discussed his crazy summer.
Can you talk a little bit about the Peach Jam tournament along with the recent EYBL season?
The Peach Jam is the most competitive tournament in the country. We knew we had a chance of winning it because we were unstoppable during the regular EYBL season when we had our whole team was healthy.
Can you talk about your summer with the highs and the lows you have experienced?
My summer has been a summer to remember. The low was that my house and a few others in my family got hit in the tornado. That really hit me hard but on the positive side my team and I just won the Peach Jam and we look forward to winning more championships this coming up week in Florida.
(BABC plays in the Junior National Championships and Super Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, FL)
Can you talk about Springfield and how you see the community and people recovering from the terrible tornado and storms?
My community is getting better as the days go on but a lot of this city is still hit pretty bad. For the most part people are recovering well and trying to survive out here. It is pretty hard these days with all the violence, never mind the storms.
Can you point to the key influences who have helped shape your game to what it is today?
My mother has put me in basketball since I was about six years old and told me that I can be what I want to be if I put the work in and try to be successful at it.
My uncle Kerny has also given me the best advice I could ask for and he is the reason why I can shoot the way I can today.
Brian Kelly is the one who put me on BABC and if it was not for him who knows where my basketball skills would be at?
Lastly, Leo Papile is another role model of mine because of how hard he worked to get where he is today.
What has being on the BABC done for your game over the years?
BABC has brought my game from being a Division 2 prospect to a high major Division 1 prospect.
What do you consider your strengths as a basketball player and what is something that you need to work on?
My strengths are my shooting and I need to work on my strength and my defense.
Who are the best players you have gone up against at the point guard position in New England?
There are really none because the other best guard, Rene Castro, plays on my team.
Looking at your Wilbraham and Monson squad for next year and with the additions of players like Kris Dunn from New London (CT) and Marcel Pettway (BABC and North Providence, RI) can you talk about the team next year and what your goals are for the team?
Those players are going to help us a lot because they know how to win they are not selfish. We all share the same goal and that is to win the NEPSAC.
You mentioned Missouri offered you after the Peach Jam. How is recruiting process going overall and do you have a preliminary list of schools?
The process is very stressful getting calls every day but, hey you cannot really complain. I have offers from Missouri, University of Virginia, Hofstra, Louisville, URI, Richmond, and I am receiving a lot of interest from Flordia, Georgetown, University of Miami and Boston College.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer with basketball and away from the game?
I want to win Nationals and the Super Showcase and away from basketball to start my summer reading for school.
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of basketball?
I like to just hang out with friends and I also play soccer for Wilbraham & Monson.
Lastly, what is something unique about you that not many people know? Interests or traits?
I love to DANCE!
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