UCLA’s Next Star Point Guard: Jaylen Hands


Gabi M., Blogger

Jaylen Hands is a McDonald’s All-American basketball player you might want to know. 

Born February 12, 1999, in San Diego, California, Hands started playing basketball when he was two and a half. His parents are Ronnie and Ashanti Hands. His father played college basketball at San Diego Mesa College.  

Being selected a McDonald’s All-American means you are one of the top high school players in the country. People around the country have to nominate players they think are best. Hands, six feet two inches, is a senior at Foothills Christian High School in San Diego. As a varsity player he played 30 games this season. He’s averaged 29.2 points, 5.7 assists, 8.0 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. He’s scored 876 points this season.

UCLA recruited him the beginning of sophomore year. He signed with UCLA on September 16, 2015. He grew up watching UCLA basketball, so it has been his dream school. He never thought about playing college basketball until the beginning of tenth grade when UCLA wanted him. Hands is a 5-star point guard and will replace Lonzo Ball.  Ball declared for the NBA draft last March.

Jaylen has gained a lot of attention on how he plays, but mostly because of his dunks. He was on the the news for dunking over his parents to win a dunk contest. Many compare him to OKC Thunder star Russell Westbrook and called him “Westbrook, Jr.” or “Baby Westbrook.”

Hands was named as one of 17 finalists for the 2015 USA U16 National Team on May 30, 2015. He had a dunk for the USA U16 National team that went low key viral. He was crowned MVP for the Adidas Global Nations in Los Angeles. His favorite basketball organization is Compton Magic Basketball. He is very close with Etop Udo-Ema, who is the Compton Magic CEO. Many successful basketball players were in the organization including Jeff Trepagnier who plays for the Denver Nuggets and Tito Maddox who played for the Houston Rockets. Hands is currently the face of Compton Magic.

Hands doesn’t just love playing basketball.  His favorite U.S. National Team athletes are Kobe Bryant (his favorite all time player) and Russell Westbrook.  He would compare his game to Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook’s. His favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers.  Besides basketball, Jaylen’s favorite sport is football.

Jaylen does not only have a basketball life, even though it might seem like it. Jaylen is very good in school. He’s earned academic honors twice, first Honors for having a GPA above 3.6 and second Honors for having a GPA between 3.0-3.5. His favorite classes are Math and Ceramics. He plans on majoring in business or communication. 

Hands is my favorite high school basketball player and will only continue to succeed and improve throughout college, and hopefully the NBA.