Jaylen Nowell talks commitment, more

Dawgman.com’s Kim Grinolds spoke Friday with Jaylen Nowell, a 6-foot-4 guard from Garfield High School, who verbally committed to Washington Wednesday for UW’s 2017 recruiting class.



On the decision - “I knew this is where I wanted to go. I actually decided way before that, where I wanted to go, but I just kind of waited for the summertime. I felt like I wanted to wait and feel out the other coaches instead of jumping right into it. I told myself I was going to do it whenever I knew exactly when I knew 100 percent that I wanted to go there. This was around that time.”

On the influence of the Seattle pros, like Brandon Roy, Will Conroy, Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas - “I’ve been playing with those guys since I was little. They were the main people that were helping me mold my game. For that I’d like to say thank you. I appreciate everything they did - the Will Conroys, the Brandon Roys, the Jamal Crawfords…I talk to them a lot on a daily basis just picking their brains on certain things and how they do things because they were smart businessmen as well, not just smart basketball players. That’s also what I’ve been focused on too because I know that’s what you need to be at the next level.”

On Brandon Roy being his biggest influence - “I see him the most. Because he was a Garfield graduate he would always come up after our practices and I’d sit down and talk to him. He gave me a lot of advice. I appreciate everything he did. Will Conroy as well. He’s been a big help in everything in my life, not just basketball. I sit down and talk to him about life, stuff like that.”

Who has been the hardest on you on the court? - “My high school coach, coach Ed (Haskins)…he gets on me all the time because ever since my Dad (Mike) passed, he promised my Dad he was going to get me to where my Dad wanted me to go. He’s been the biggest one to get on me about everything. He’s been a big help as well. I appreciate everything he’s done.”

Sounds like Alvin Snow was getting you to the gym a lot - “We would go so early! Like 5 (am). We would go in the gym before school. I would be so tired, but I credit him for that too. I thank him for that.”

On how hard it was when his father passed away - “It’s been very hard. Me, I’m the type of guy that would turn it into motivation to definitely do what he wanted me to do, to get to the next level. I’m making sure I do everything I can to do that.”

On mother Lanie and staying close to home - “That was a major decision. I just love being around my family. I love being around her, I love being around my brother. They are just everything to me. I especially wanted to make sure he could see me play, so it’s not just on TV all the time.”

On being a home town hero - “I feel like it’s great. Honestly, it’s good, but sometimes even if it would be better to leave it’s on you to decide. I chose UW for me. I’m not necessarily trying to be a hometown hero. If that’s what they want me to be or if that’s what they perceive me as, that’s fine. I’ll take it. But it’s not the main thing I’m focused on. I just want to bring wins to U-Dub.”

On now being a recruiter - “I’m a very good one. (laughs) I’m good. I’m cool with a lot of people. That’s one thing I’ve been working on too: I used to be a very quiet person. But now I’m working on being able to interact with a bunch of different people.”

On recruiting (teammate and former UW commit) Daejon (Davis) - “Oh yeah of course. I’ve been playing with him since I was little.”

On his younger brother Shane - “He’s nice. Lefty, which is funny because everyone in my family is righty. But he’s the weird one, I guess. He’s a lefty, he plays a lot like Tony (Wroten), people say, a lot of no-look passes. Gets to the hoop a lot. He’s crafty. He’s 13. He’s going to be in the eighth grade. He’s about 6-2, 6-3 now.”

On current Washington players he knows - “Obviously Markelle Fultz, the new freshman coming in. I don’t think I need to say much about him. Everyone knows who he is. He’s a very cool person. It’s crazy, because he doesn’t act as many people would think. You know how good he is. Most people around Seattle, if you’re that good? You’d tend to lose your head a little bit. But he’s a down-to-earth person. He’s very humble. That’s what I like about him. He’s good and he’s also humble.”

On his relationship with Lorenzo Romar and Will Conroy - “Will Conroy, he’s like my big brother. He’s always been. I don’t need to say much about that. Coach Romar, he’s been a big help ever since my father died too because he had a good relationship with my father too. I’ve known him well since around eighth grade. I could go and talk to him about anything. That’s one thing I appreciate too: it’s not just about basketball. He cares for me, and that’s what I like too. Most coaches, they just see you as part of the job. I feel like he sees me as a person and he cares about me.”

On who he will look for first when the schedule comes out, Rainier Beach or Nathan Hale? - “It’s going to be both, actually. I think (Hale) is going to be a great game. I feel like we’re going to get ‘em, honestly. I just know we’re going to win.”

On knowing Michael Porter, Jr. and (2018 UW commit) Jontay Porter - “Yeah, I know them. (Michael’s) someone who I would really like to play with. I’m going to talk to him, trying to get him up here. Can’t say much about that.”

Anything else UW fans should know about Jaylen Nowell? - “I’m trying to get wins for U-Dub, I’m trying to get U-Dub to be one of the top teams in the country. That’s all I want to do. I don’t want to be a hero. I just want to be Jaylen Nowell. I just want to play.”

Dawgman.com Top Stories