At 175CM Jayson Edwards(Howard Hoops) Height Isn´t Bigger Than His Heart

Jayson Edwards is a 175cm guard from Plymouth, Minnesota that is taking part in the 2020 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. He played at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and played 2 years at Lake Region State College (JUCO) playing 29 games averaging 4.8ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.0apg and in his second year played 28 games averaging 6.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 34.0%, 3PT: 23.8%, FT: 66.3%. He spoke to about his basketball career.

Jayson thanks for talking to Where are you at the moment and how have you been holding up the last months during COVID-19?

Hello, thank you for interviewing me. I’m in Minneapolis Minnesota. During this time I’ve been really working on myself, my skills & spending quality time with my family.

Before we get to basketball and COVID-19, I have to ask you about your first name Jayson. When I first read it, it reminded me right away of Jayson Williams or Jayson tatum. How have you been able to live with this spelling and not the usual Jason? Have you had any interesting experiences with your name in your daily life?

My dads name is Jason. I love the uniqueness of a different spelling. I would say the people who don’t know me well would mispronounce my name as Jay-son. I just correct them and giggle about it. 

You played 2 years at Lake Region State College (JUCO) and then wanted to play at a 4 year school from 2017 onward. I couldn’t find any information on that. What have you been doing with your life the last 3 years? You were seeking a degree in Kinesiology. Have you been able to use that?

I stayed in the gym and worked on my craft on a daily basis. In the summer 2017 I was invited to play in two Minneapolis Pro Am tournaments. Where I was a champion in both leagues. I learned a lot from my mentor Cameron Rundles who is a 10 year veteran playing across the waters. Sticking around guys like that have improved my knowledge for the game and also competing on a professional level. I’m still pursuing my dream as an overseas basketball player so I have yet to start my career with Kinesiology. I have coached 7th graders boys basketball so I’ve been able to use some of my knowledge with them.

COVID-19 has affected the whole world. How do you feel have you become stronger as a man off the court during these hard times?

I’ve had time to self reflect on my goals and ambitions and creatively finding ways to stay healthy. Also valuing the time with my family. 

The itch for wanting to have a professional career despite your basketball resume must be big. How difficult is it wanting to realize this when you have had so little experience?

I’ve always believed in myself and my abilities and although having a resume is big I’ve always depended on my work ethic & showing my skills on the court. 

You have signed up with the Howard Hoops Tour. How did the contact to Ron Howard come about. He is currently living in Minnesota and has been training young hungry players for years. Is that how the contact came about?

Absolutely, over Instagram we followed each other for the love of the game. I noticed how many opportunities he was giving players to play across the water. I reached out to him and he eagerly accepted. 

How excited are you about having the opportunity to go to Germany and show your talent as a player? What do you know in general about the country Germany and its basketball?

I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to come to Germany and learn more about the country. I know very little other than a few players who have played in Germany. 

What do you know in general about the Howard Hoops Tour? How aware are you of the positive record of Ron Howard helping get guys like you with little or no experience jobs? Has that increased your hunger even more to succeed?

I am confident in him and his agency. With the opportunity he is giving me, but I know the rest is up to me. 

How big is your dream of becoming a professional player. Does your feeling of wanting that succeed any kind of feeling you have ever had for anything in your life?

I’ve been hungry for this for as long as I can remember. When I was 5 years old I would tell people I would be going to moving to China. Weird thing is I still want to go to China today. It’s always been in me to travel overseas and play the game I love.

Talk a little about the man Ron Howard. He is an absolute basketball workaholic. How have you gotten to know the man on and off the court the best and what do you appreciate most about him?

Of course, he’s a real motivator. Very honest and intense guy. He is the right man for the job with getting hoopers opportunities overseas. 

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a small guard at 175CM. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would bets fit the description? Is a guy like Nate Robinson in your list?

I have the passion of Kevin Garrett within me. My height isn’t bigger than my heart. If I have to name one player comparison it would be the drive, tenacity and athleticism of Derrick Rose. 

Talk a little about your strength as a player. What kind of attributes will be on display when you play in Germany?

I’m a push the pace type guard that loves to defend and score the ball. I get to the middle of the paint regularly with a consistent mid range pull up. I am vocal on the court and my energy is high. 

On what parts of your game are you working on most in the lab so that you can continue to improve your game as you continue to move forward as a player?

Catch and shoot threes have been a weakness of mine but it is something I have improved on over the years. 

What memories do you have of battling fellow diminutive 174CM guard Aaron Boone? How important was it having these daily confrontations on the court with him?

We battled. During practice for lose balls I guess I could say we were never friends on the court till it was time to face somebody else and we both needed that. Vital because you only want someone around you who can get you better.

You played at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and also played AAU basketball. Describe your early basketball life. Was there a point where you knew that playing NCAA basketball would be tough?

Always competitive. I always played a grade level up at a young age which demanded more out of me. In high school I was primarily the ball handler and the scorer on the team with that I had to even guard the next teams best player. AAU I played on the best team in my state Net Gain sports where I played with Mr. Basketball day in & night out. We competed against the best teams across the country like Jaylen Brown from the Celtics. That alone improved my game and is something I’ll always remember. 

You played two years at Lake Region State College (JUCO) playing 57 games. What memories do you have of playing JUCO basketball in that program?

Toughness is the word I would use. JUCO basketball is no game. Our meal plans were terrible, long Bus rides but also good memories came out. Joyful moments with my boys and friendships that still last today.

You averaged 18 minutes per game in both seasons. What kind of an experience was it being a role player and how do you feel did your game grow there in your 2 years?

I learned the game with the minutes I earned. I noticed my game was more aggressive offensively and knew that my coach pushed me to be the best I could be. 

How did head coach Jared Marshall groom and prepare you best for continuing to seek that professional basketball career?

He put me in good situations for me to excel to my strengths and when in doubt he pushed me. 

What memories do you have of battling fellow diminutive 174CM guard Aaron Boone? How important was it having these daily confrontations on the court with him?

We battled. During practice for lose balls I guess I could say we were never friends on the court till it was tome to face somebody else and we both needed that. Vital because you only want someone around you who can get you better. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Aaron Boone?

Me. He wouldn’t be able to score on me today and he knows it. 

Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time? 

– Mr. Basketball Minnesota Jt Gibson – Joey King Minnesota Gopher alumni – Brandyn Frelix Bethany Lutheran guard – AJ Nywesh Lake Region State College guard – Cameron Rundles 10 year veteran 

Who has been the best player that you have battled on a court anywhere that has been in the NBA or a high level? 

Jarvis Johnson Minneapolis Minnesota Gopher guard. We’ve battled since 6th grade and till this day in local pick up games 

Please list your personal NBA Rushmore of 4 NBA heads past or present? 

Michael Jordan LeBron James Kobe Bryant & Allen Iverson 

Where were you when you heard of the death of Kobe Bryant? How much of an influence did a guy like that have on you growing up? 

I was in the gym shooting free throws and I got the notification on my phone. I admired him because of his relentless work either. Literally nobody could guard him and I use moves from him today. 

People often compare Jordan and Lebron as the best ever, but why isn’t Kobe Bryant mentioned more often in this discussion? Do you feel like Kobe gets a little side tracked in this discussion? 

I believe he should be compared to MJ more then Lebron. In fact of his rings and his pursuit to winning. 

What was the last movie that you saw? –

Gemini man starring Will Smith. Decent film but it got my attention the entire time.

Thanks Jayson for the chat

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