Jaylen Hands and Jalen Hill Excited For UCLA

Oct. 9 -- We caught up with the two UCLA commitments last week to discuss their progression, their excitement for UCLA, and more...

Interview courtesy of Sean Moran, who has been following the recruiting scene for years. He's written for Inside Carolina and Rush the Court and has his own blog, The Intentional Foul.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo – Jaylen Hands and Jalen Hill both participated in the USA Men’s Developmental camp last weekend in Colorado Springs. The two junior commitments discussed the developmental camp and their future plans.

You guys were both in Colorado Springs in May for the U16 tryouts, how is it being back?

Jaylen Hands: For me it’s fun to see everyone and to have everyone back together again. You get to build relations and go against the best players in the country including the players a class ahead of you so that’s the biggest part for me.

How do you think Day 1 went for you?

Jalen Hill: I think I did alright given my circumstances of not playing for awhile (ankle injury). I was able to come out here and compete. I think I can play better though.

How was it going against some of the top players in the senior class?

Jaylen Hands: It’s better here. With AAU its more of a mismatch, here its more concentrated with all of the best guards, so its good to play all of the best guards and get better.

Jaylen, when I saw you last at the NBPA Top 100 camp you said that getting cut from that U16 team was something you were using for motivation. Is that still true?

Jaylen Hands: Well not making it that first time goes into everything I do, especially basketball. Just to know that there’s always someone out there working harder and there’s deficiencies I need to improve upon, so it plays into everything I do.

You made the U16 team Jalen. How was the experience?

Jalen Hill: It was a great experience. One of the best experiences of my life. To have all that hard work pay off. I finally got out of the country for the first time so it was a great experience.

Why did you guys choose UCLA?

Jaylen Hands: Well for me, it’s close to home, but its not so close since it’s a two to three-hour drive. The campus, where it’s located in Westwood, I love Westwood. My parents are from LA so that means a lot to them. A great education. The lineage of the point guards they put in the NBA. So those are the biggest things.

Jalen Hill: For me it would have to be the past history of UCLA. Just the fact that everything they do is great over there. I just really liked it, it was a good feeling for me.

Jaylen Hands: The coaches too, we really like the coaching staff.

Jalen Hill: And the style of play.

Are you recruiting any other players here to UCLA?

Jalen Hill: I mean I recruited him (Jaylen) so that worked out.

Jaylen Hands: We chillin right now, but we are gonna devise a plan to see what we can do.

Jalen Hill: We gonna go on a hunt.

Jaylen Hands: Yeah, we are definitely gonna go on the hunt.

Going into your junior season, what are your goals?

Jaylen Hands: I transferred to Balboa. I love what we are doing right now in terms of how we practice. I love how hard we practice. The biggest thing for me is to have them help me develop my motor a lot and besides that just get reps against a lot of good players. I know for sure we will be in the City of Palms, Torrey Pines. We travel a lot, so the competition should be really good.

Jalen Hill: I have to be more of a leader. The leaders from last year all left so people are looking at me to be a leader. Trying to be the best player on the team. Facilitate to my teammates. I’m looking to make the team stronger and developing.

What’s one thing you guys are trying to improve upon going forward?

Jaylen Hands: The strength and consistency. It’s just me playing well and becoming the best I can be.

Jalen Hill: I would have to say my work ethic. And I would have to say my defense also since I’m used to scoring.

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