6’6” 2018 Jayden Gardner
Heritage HS (NC)
By Jamie Shaw
By all accounts possibly 6’6” junior Jayden Gardner has been dominate this season. Through Heritage High School’s 24-0 season Gardner is averaging 22.5 points on 63% field goals, 15 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.
Gardner stands a lengthy 6’6” and weighs in at a brutish 225 pounds. His game is all strength and all tenacity, “I play aggressively, it is something I try to do every play of every game.”
Gardner’s tenacity is evident right off the bat. He was a participant in the prestigious North Carolina Top 80, an event which puts the best players in the state of North Carolina against one another. After his performance in that event we wrote, “No one played with more effort and energy than Jayden Gardner. His relentless work ethic made a big impression on all the coaches and media in attendance. Coach Rob Salter stated it best, “Jayden is a warrior. He plays so hard and does a great job of using his body to score. He understands the game and his teammates enjoy playing with him. He competes every possession and has a very bright future.” In addition, we were impressed with his on court attitude and team play. He was a willing passer out of the post and was very unselfish. More importantly, he understands the game and knows how to makes winning plays.”
Despite all of his successes, Gardner’s game is rapidly improving. His footwork on the block is getting better and his touch, both from the free throw line and around the basket, is coming around. Gardner said, “I already have a good post game, I watch a lot of Tim Duncan, I have been working on my feet. At the next level I know I am going to have to lay the 4, maybe even some 3, I am in the gym working on stretching the floor. My jump shot is improving.” As we stated before, he is shooting 63% from the field and he is approaching 70% from the FT line this year, up from 53% last season.
Most recently Gardner picked up an offer from High Point. This makes an even ten, he also claims offers from Penn State, College of Charleston, VCU, Old Dominion, James Madison, Grambling State, Winthrop, and Campbell. As you can see, his recruitment is all over the board. That makes sense given the unique nature of his game. However, no matter which coach comes by to see him when, you can be rest assured that Gardner dominated.