Now, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound swingman, who averaged nearly 30 points per game last season at Traditional, has expanded his game under Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) coach Bill Barton.
``I didn't think I was going to do this well," Hayward said. "But I think I have a lot of heart and desire."
``Coach Barton is harder on me than everyone else," added Hayward. "He makes sure I'm in the gym all the time. He's on my all the time and that's what I needed."
Hayward has been a mainstay in the Notre Dame Prep gym, hoisting up 400-500 shots each and every day.
It's slowly paid off. Hayward averaged 12.9 points per game over the first 22 contests, but ever since a 41-point outburst at Winchendon in January, he'll be a scoring machine. Hayward has put up 26.3 points per game over the past dozen contests.
Hayward isn't just known as a perimeter guy any more. He can score in a variety of ways now and that has plenty of schools interested – especially now that he's going to spend another year under Barton in Fitchburg, Mass.
Hayward still has to work on things, such as his handle and speed – and that's part of why he'll return for another prep year despite spurning A-10 offers.
Hayward, who will play for the GC Ballers again this spring and summer, scored a team-high 21 points in Notre Dame Prep's upset victory against St. Thomas More in the NEPSAC Class A quarterfinals on Wednesday. In doing so, Hayward sank just a single trifecta, getting most of his points in the paint.
``He stopped being a flat-footed perimeter shooter," Barton said. "When he came here, he was a zone-buster – but he can do so much more than that. He still has to get stronger and quicker, but he's gotten so much better and is very coachable."