NCAA Aussie Player Focus – Jayden Stone
WITH the year progressing, the National Collegiate Athlete Association (NCAA) basketball tournaments for men and women are just over a month away.
Plenty of players will be looking to make their mark, with the league well-known as one of the biggest platforms for showcasing talent in the world. Typically, the league is made up of players who have been born and bred in the system and in the United States, but there are some international imports who have impressed scouts enough to make the move overseas.
With the Australian basketball system as strong as ever, the number of Aussies in the NCAA system is growing on a yearly basis. This provided a chance for Jayden Stone to take full advantage of the newly forged pathways into progressing his basketball journey.
Another product of Western Australia, Stone was born in Perth and always had dreams of playing basketball at the highest level. His junior basketball career was spent at the Perry Lakes Hawks and the Perth Redbacks, where his passion only grew.
Following his in his father’s footsteps (who left the United States to play in Perth), Stone left the land down under at the age of just 15, seeking greater opportunities in the United States, widely known as the home of basketball. His journey continued in Kansas, at the Sunrise Christian Academy, where he began to put all of his energy into honing his craft and developing his game.
As the improvement of his game grew, as did his age, and he was approaching the crucial decision of which college to commit to. Given his performance in recent years, he received offers from well-known schools such as Georgetown, Cincinnati, Baylor and Kansas State.
There were plenty of quality programs to choose from, but Stone ended up settling on the Grand Canyon University Antelopes after being rated a four-star recruit (out of five), and was ranked as the 23rd best shooting guard in the country.
In his first stint on the Antelopes in the 2020-21, Stone played 29 games with an average of 15 minutes per game. Despite the 3.8 points not being overwhelming, Stone showed glimpses of a true offensive threat, and ended up providing a serious spark for his side off the bench.
Stone unfortunately missed some time due to injury, but will be eager to hit the court again in the upcoming season, as the Antelopes look to improve on their performance from last year.
Standing 6ft 3in, Stone mans the shooting guard position, where he is widely viewed as one of the best in his position for his age. Stone boasts a smooth-moving jump shot as the biggest weapon in his repertoire, with the ability to knock down shots from both mid-range and from behind the three-point line.
With the season approaching, Stone will be hoping for increased opportunity, but whether he starts or delivers scoring off the bench, he will be showcasing his lights-out shooting in front of the biggest scouts in the United States.
Photo: @JaydenSballin Twitter