Coming off the heels of an excellent overall performance at the Vantage Hoops Summer Finale, Jayden Nixon is emerging as one of Virginia's biggest stock boosters. In the past week, the 6'4 swingman has received phone calls from Belmont, American,…
Coming off the heels of an excellent overall performance at the Vantage Hoops Summer Finale, Jayden Nixon is emerging as one of Virginia's biggest stock boosters. In the past week, the 6'4 swingman has received phone calls from Belmont, American, and West Point. He is taking an unofficial visit to American this weekend.
“I loved the coaches. They were really nice to me, and I think all the schools are pretty good academically and athletically. So, it's really great for me,” said Nixon.
Schools are obviously enamored with Nixon's ability on the court, but what sets him apart are his intangibles. He is able to balance playing extremely hard, while thoroughly enjoying playing the game each time he hits the court.
“Belmont said they liked how I was smiling and laughing at the games,” he began. “Because the purpose of the game is to have fun. If you're not having fun, it's not really seeming fun to the fans. Their coach said it always looks good to see the player enjoy the game.”
In his first year at St. Anne's Belfield School in Charlottesville, Nixon racked up a number of brilliant performances. Particularly, in big games. His ability to score at all 3 levels, particularly in the mid range, is what sets him apart offensively.
“I'm pretty good with the mid range. I'm a wing, a 1,2 dribble pull-up guy. An attack the basket kind of guy,” he said. “Since I was a big man, I loved to take guys to the post that are my size and smaller, maybe even a bit taller. I love the transition game. Still working on my shooting. My ball handling is getting better.”
Nixon is a sneaky athlete. He can get up and down, and can elevate and finish at the rim. He understands the importance of being efficient from the middle areas of the floor.
“I feel like a lot of people in this area kind of under-estimate the mid-range game. It can be very effective. That's like one of the best parts of my game,” he said.
His new coach, Geoff Reed, is challenging him to work on his 3 point shooting. Nixon is training using new shooting techniques he's learning from Reed.
“We've been tweaking techniques for better shooting when being tired. For in game situations, when adrenaline is pumping.” said Nixon.
He's not just a star athlete at STAB, he's beloved by his teammates, the faculty, and his fellow classmates. His coach, Brian Kent, shined some light on the type of kid he is.
“He's an all-around kid. A friend to all the kids. Great teammate. He won the top sophomore award at the school in his first year at STAB,” said Kent. “Not just basketball, total package kid. Academically, socially, athletically. A very prestigious award that he had won for his class just being there for one year.”
Nixon is also a superb student in the classroom, who sports a healthy 4.0 GPA.
“He's an Ivy League kid, with just academics.” Kent continued. “He works hard in practice, but also is firends with guys on the team and is fun to be around in tthe locker room as well.”
Given his outstanding accolades in the classrom, Nixon well on his way to achieving his goals. He has aspirations of being in the medical field someday, and would love to attend a school that has a good program.
“I'm actually looking to become maybe something like a biomedical engineer, or a general practitoiner. A school with a great medical program would be awesome,” he said. “Im just looking for an academic school that will push me, and a coach that will push me.”
Nixon is one of the more well rounded players in VA's 2017 class. There is a lot to like about him, and it's clear why his stock is rapidly on the uptick.