Jaylen Hands (191-G-99, college: UCLA) is a 22 year old 191cm guard from Chula Vista, California playing his third professional season and first with the o Telenet Giants Antwerp (Belgium-BNXT League). He was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019 in the second Round at #56. He played his rookie season with the Long Island Nets (NBA G League) playing 41 games averaging 11.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 88.6%. Last season he played with KK FMP Beograd (Serbia-KLS) playing 12 Adriatic League games averaging 8.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 83.9%. He played 2 years at the University of California at Los Angeles (NCAA) playing 30 games as a freshman averaging 9.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 42.5%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 75.0% and in his second season averaged 14.2ppg, 3.7rpg, 6.1apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 37.3%, FT: 78.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against German team Hakro Merlins.
Jaylen thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I am In Antwerp, Belgium playing for The Telenet Giants. I’m enjoying my time here a lot!
Before we talk about your basketball career, I have to ask you about how you have dealt with COVID since the outbreak in 2020. What has been the most challenging thing that you personally encountered since March 2020?
COVID has been a challenge for everyone. Above all, I hope everyone can stay safe and healthy. I personally have never gotten COVID. As we all have seen, it has changed a lot in our day to day but I just hope that everyone can remain safe and healthy.
You have needed no adjustment time in Belgium. What have been the main reasons for you being able to play so well so quickly for Antwerpen?
It starts with the environment. From the GM, to the coaches, to my teammates, to the fans here. It’s a welcoming place. They allowed me to come in and play my game. I’m playing a lot off natural instinct and I feel I’m getting better game by game.
How beneficial has it been playing with veteran Markel Brown. How has he been able to help you most in the time that you have been there?
Markel is Great! He’s very focused. I’m confident that both the similarities and contrast in our games will help this team rack up a lot of wins
Last season you played with KK FMP Beograd (Serbia-KLS) playing in the Adriatic League averaging 8.5ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 83.9. What was your wake up calling to being overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
I learned Toughness. Especially being in Serbia. I loved my time and the people there. A thought I wrote down from my 6 months there was: ‘what can you do well every day?’. It was my first experience outside of the states and I grew a lot mentally. Very proud with how I developed on and off the court.
You were drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers and played your rookie season with the Long Island Nets (NBA G-League) playing 41 games averaging 11.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 88.6%. You had some good games in December. Did you ever feel like you were close to an NBA call up?
Fun, interesting season! Was definitely some good moments, and a lot of moments I learned from. Was a blessing to play with and watch guys like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert work that years Preseason with the Nets. I love the passion behind a day to day grind
You played 2 years at UCLA. You made a big jump in your game in your second season. How do you feel did your game grow in your second year?
My 2 years at UCLA were the best times of my life! I made a big jump my second year with my floor game. Went from 2 assists per game my first year to over 6 my second. That led the entire conference and was top 20/30 in the nation I believe. Spent a lot of time with my coaches in the film room and in the gym working on ways to get myself and teammates involved at the same time. I still watch some clips until this day!
You had many memorable games, but was the 93-88 win over rival USC where you had 21/10 stats your most memorable win or was it the come form behind win over Oregon?
Those are 2 of my favorites! I had a lot of fun playing with my teammates in both of those. You can’t go wrong with either. 21/10 and a Game winner at Home vs your cross town Rival or 27 points and 7 threes in one Half for a come behind win on ESPN. Both fun!
Please name your 5 all-time best teammates.
I got all my teammates back. If you got mine too you’re in my top 5.
Thanks Jaylen for the chat.