Jaden Hardy turned in one of the best freshman seasons in the EYBL history last spring and summer, averaging 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.7 steals across 15 games.
Hardy is a flame-thrower from distance and is just as skilled at getting past his man and finishing in traffic. At 6-foot-4, he’s a long, athletic guard capable of guarding multiple positions. Hardy plays well beyond his years, and he should have a leg up on the competition after gaining experience as a freshman.
Now a sophomore, Hardy will be running with EYBL newcomer Vegas Elite (NV) this spring. We caught up with Hardy at USA Basketball, asking the young guard about a variety of topics, including his decision to join Vegas Elite, his second year on the circuit and how excited he is to run again with Josh Christopher and Julian Strawther.
Q: We’re at USA Basketball. How excited are you to represent your country and how is this experience?
Jaden Hardy: It’s very exciting for me to be out here competing with all of the other top prospects. It’s been a good time and we’ve had fun. I’ve made a lot of new relationships so that’s been good.
How are you approaching your second season on the circuit after running as a freshman?
JH: By me playing last year, I learned a lot of new things. For me coming into this year, I feel like I have a big advantage. I did really well last year, and I feel like I’m going to do even better this year.
Take us through the decision to join Vegas Elite as a package deal with Josh (Christopher) and Julian (Strawther)? You’re joining a lot of talent, how excited are you to run with that unit?
JH: Very excited. We all stay close together. We all have really good team chemistry, so it’s going to be very exciting. We’re looking to make a big run.
Do you feel like your role remains the same on this squad?
JH: I feel like my leadership has definitely stepped up, but other than that, yeah basically the same.
Do you enjoy representing Vegas on the national level now that you’re living here after moving from Detroit?
JH: Yeah it’s good to represent Vegas. There’s a lot of good players in Vegas. There’s a lot of good talent and there’s a lot of good competition. It’s good to represent Vegas.
What will make this season a success for you?
JH: Winning Peach Jam. That’s the goal. That’s what me, Josh and Julian always talk about. We know that’s our goal so that’s what we’re going to try to do.