Jaylen Bond Q + A
The high-flying forward discusses his game.
by Cris Jones / @HeirJones
After dropping a casual 28 points and 16 rebounds Saturday night (Jan. 15) in a win against George Washington High School of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Panthers’ commit, Jaylen Bond, made time for an interview with SLAM. Bond and the Colonials of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School are the defending PIAA Class 4A champs, and are in search of another state title. Although Bond may not be on every recruiting site’s 2011 Top 100 Seniors, he feels like he will get his due justice, in time.
The humble 6’8″, 220-pound, combo forward has already made the pages of SLAMonline via a nasty Slamadaday. However, this time around it was about more than dunking. With his lofty expectations and ambition to improve daily, the sky’s the limit for this 17-year old. So get familiar with Bond, Jaylen Bond.
SLAM: So are you a SLAM reader? Either the mag or SLAMonline.com?
Jaylen Bond: I get the magazine sometimes. Someone always has it at my school.
SLAM: How did it feel when you saw that you were Slamadaday on December 22?
JB: I felt good. I felt like I was doing something good. Being Slamadaday just made me want to work even harder.
SLAM: Yeah, you jammed on him. It was a little disrespectful…
JB: [Laughs] Yeah, he was running and I saw him out of the corner of my eye. So I knew I had to just rise up from wherever I was — and just kept going…
SLAM: Bet your boys were going crazy over that.
JB: Yeah, [laughs] everyone around here was.
SLAM: So I see that you play above the rim a lot, when did you start going up top on defenders with no remorse?
JB: Basically, when I moved from middle to high school – that’s when I really started jumping high. So I just kept building on that by working out my legs and stuff.
SLAM: Would you say you’re a three or four? Or a more in between kind of player?
JB: Well, I’m more like a mixture between the two – the three and the four. But I’m transitioning to play more so at the three.
SLAM: Yeah, I heard about that. Pitt usually has some true big guys down low…
JB: Yeah, for my high school team I play power forward, but at Pitt I’m looking to play at small forward. I’ve been working on making the transition.
SLAM: So what NBA players would you compare your game to right now?
JB: Umm, I’m kinda like a Carmelo Anthony. But I attack the rim like LeBron (James).
SLAM: Yeah – I didn’t want to gas you, but I sort of noticed that. Your game reminds me of Thaddeus Young’s a little, too.
JB: Yeah, I’m an in-between player. A tough match up for any team.
SLAM: You committed to Pitt in April, what made you choose Pitt over other schools that recruited you?
JB: Basically, when I went up there I met with the coaches. I liked the coaching staff that they had. Plus, the campus is nice. And they offer a great education at Pitt. Pitt being in the Big East was also a factor. Just a lot of key things…
SLAM: What has Coach (Jamie) Dixon told you about next season?
JB: He said that if I keep playing hard, he thinks that I’ll be ready to play next year. If I keep contributing to the team when we’re practicing, he said I should be able to get some time.
SLAM: Are you ready for the rigors of the Big East?
JB: Yeah I think I’ll be ready for it, because I’m a physical player now. That’s what the Big East is all about. Being physical, being strong and attacking the basket. So I think I should be ready for it.
SLAM: Have you given any thought to what you would possibly major in?
JB: Uhh, I’m not sure yet, but most likely engineering – mechanical engineering.
SLAM: Wow, that’s what’s up… So what do you feel you are going to bring to the team next year?
JB: I’m looking to bring the intensity and heart that the team needs. I wanna just keep working on my abilities – my athleticism – stuff like that.
SLAM: What are your individual expectations for next year, on the court? And your goals during your Pitt basketball career in general?
JB: Hopefully, just to keep playing hard when I get time on the floor. I’m gonna play above the rim like always, and I’m hoping to contribute to the team in any way possible. And hopefully, I prepare myself to go to the next level. My goal is to keep working hard while I’m up there, so I can go further.
SLAM: Staying on the future topic, where do you see yourself in five years?
JB: I hope to be in the NBA, if not, overseas somewhere.
SLAM: What drives you to get better at the game of basketball?
JB: My main motivation is people doubting me. And not getting as much recognition as I feel as though I deserve. So I play hard every night just to prove people wrong.
SLAM: I read something that said you have the tendency to lose your cool on the court at times…
JB: I read that too. I was kinda confused about it. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. But I feel like I keep my cool, for the most part.
SLAM: So you’re not Rasheed Wallace out there or anything…
JB: [Laughs] Nah. I know sometimes I get into the game, but for the most part I keep my cool. I’m just an intense player — nothing negative.
SLAM: If you could describe Jaylen Bond to anybody that reads this article, how would you describe him?
JB: He attacks the basket. He’s a high-flyer. He brings a lot of intensity. And he’s a great team player, who works hard on every single play.