Jy’Lan Washington (206-F-97, college: Tennessee St.) is a 24 year old 206cm forward from Smyrna, Tennessee playing his second professional season and first with BC Kyiv Basket (Ukraine-Superleague). He played his rookie season with BC Rustavi 1991 (Georgia-Superleague) averaging 15.2ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT-3 (47.1%), FT: 71.7%. He began his basketball career with / Stewart Creek High School and then played at Louisiana Tech from 2015-2018 playing 96 NCAA games. He played his senior year at Tennessee State averaging 10.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 64.5%, 3PT: 53.8%, FT: 78.4%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim.
Jylan thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment. You were in the States and then Georgia during the Pandemic. How have you experienced COVID and what were the most challenging things you had to cope with?
Being in Georgia my rookie year during the pandemic was pretty challenging. The city went on lockdown so basically after practice the only place you could go to was the grocery store and you had to be in the house at 9pm. But honestly it wasn’t bad just had to adapt.
With everything that you witnessed during COVID off the court how do you feel did you get stronger as a man?
Just being alone in the city made me a stronger person I really learned a lot about myself.
Your playing your first season with BC Kyiv Basket (Ukraine-Superleague). What kind of an experience has it been playing in the Ukraine? How is this a step up from the league in Georgia?
Playing in Ukraine I feel like every team is good it’s more physical for sure but I think adjusting pretty good. The biggest step from Georgia is traveling every road game in Ukraine. In Georgia most of the games were played in the same gym we really didn’t have to travel as much.
You haven’t needed an adjustment period playing in the Fiba Europe Cup League. What have you been focusing on most on your game to help continue to make new strides against very different competition?
Honestly just playing hard every possession and doing whatever it takes to win the game.
You’re the youngest American on the team. How valuable has it been having so many vets around? Which American do you feel have you profited most from?
It is very valuable to have vets around I listen to them and I try to soak up as much information as I can so I can pass it on for when I’m not the youngest on the team. All the Americans give me advice I feel like they are a big reason to why I’m adjusting so well.
Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 206cm forward. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the bill?
My favorite player growing up was Rudy Gay. I always tried to steal bits of pieces from him I feel like he can a little bit of everything an that’s what type of player I think I am.
Is it fair to say you’re a modern day forward with a three pointer? How vital will the development of your three for moving up the basketball ladder? Shooting the ball so well in Georgia must have given you a lot of confidence.
Yes I feel like I can stretch out the floor pretty well with my shooting ability. I feel like it makes me valuable with my size to be able to shoot the ball. Confidence plays a big role in basketball so Georgia helped me believe in myself more after the season I had.
How much pride do you take on the defensive end? Do you feel like sky is the limit with your defensive capabilities?
I take it personal every position is big so I try to my best to help my team get the stop. Yes I feel like I can guard pretty good at my size and being able to switch on guards the sky is the limit for sure.
Last season you played with BC Rustavi 1991 (Georgia-Superleague) playing 26 games: averaging 15.2ppg, 9.2rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT-3 (47.1%), FT: 71.7%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
Just not being able to look in the stands and see friends and family. You really have to find your own motivation overseas.
How cool was it wining your first pro title as a rookie. What made this team so special?
It was a great experience what made it so special was that everything I went through that year it was worth it.
How much did guards White and Davis make your life easier on the court? What will you always remember about them?
They were great players we always pushed it other no matter what. We always had each others back it’s a long season so we held each other accountable. We would laugh through the hard times I’ll always remember that about them.
You played at Louisiana Tech from 2015-2018. What memories do have from those years? How do you see yourself having made steps in your game there?
Just winning games with my teammates and having fun on an off the court. I gained like 25 pounds there so it helped me out.
Was the coaching change from KonKol to Davis a reason you left for Tennessee State?
I left la tech because I wanted to be closer to home for my senior year.
What do you remember from your battles with Erik McCree? How did a guy like him help your game in the two years?
Guarding Erik everyday pushed me he wasn’t an easy person to guard. Just watching him and talking to him on how he prepared for games helped out for my junior and senior year.
You played your senior year at Tennessee State. You made big strides averaging 10.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 64.5%, 3PT: 53.8%, FT: 78.4%. How did your game develop as a senior?
Red shirting I watched a lot of my old highlights and working out everyday. That made me hungry an eager to play basketball again.
How did head coach Brian Collins groom and prepare you bets for a professional career?
When I signed there he told me to prepare myself to be a pro stay in the gym as much as you can. I took it personal and listened to what he said and it all worked out.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Wesley Harris?
Me an west played different positions so we really never guarded each other but if I had to say we probably evened out. West is a very talented player loved his game.
Who was the toughest player that you encountered in the NCAA that would reach the NBA?
I’d have to say Collin Sexton he was just a dog on both ends.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Trip Davis Derric Jean Jacobi Boykins Alex Hamilton Deshwan Robinson
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
MJ ,Kevin Durant, Lebron James ,Kobe
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
All time MJ for sure no debate.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
Yes let a classic be a classic. Lol
Thanks Jylan for the chat.