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Q&A with Elizabeth High School sophomore guard Jayden Pierre

Daniel Flores caught up with rising star Jayden Pierre to discuss Elizabeth High School’s great season.

Sophomore Point guard Jayden Pierre is one of the next rising stars in New Jersey high school basketball. The 6-foot guard helped lead Elizabeth High School to a 25-4 record this past season. The season included a Section 2 Group 4 Title win against Watchung Hills. Pierre hit the game-winner in the 56-54 thriller against Watchung Hills. He finished the season averaging 15 points per game and four assists per game.

The Elizabeth Minutemen’s season ended abruptly due to the Coronavirus. They won their last game of the season against Paterson Kennedy 57-35 in an empty gym during the NJSIAA Group Tournament semifinal. The win was head coach Phil Colicchio’s 500th of his career. Although the season was cut short, the Elizabeth Minutemen cemented themselves as one of the top public school teams in New Jersey.

Double G Sports caught up with Jayden to discuss this past season, as well as the playoffs being cut short due to the Coronavirus.

Double G Sports: How has your game changed from freshman year to now?

Jayden Pierre: I think the difference between my freshman year and now would simply be how much my game has matured and just playing freely with a lot more confidence. I played at a different pace this year where everything wasn’t sped up and I wasn’t in a rush to go anywhere.

DGS: What do you need to improve on in your game for Junior year?

JP: For my junior year, I need to improve on my body, shooting a lot more outside shots, and grabbing some rebounds.

DGS: How do you think your season went this year?

JP: I think this season was a great season in many different ways, I had some experiences that are going to help me down the road. Playing 32 minutes a night and not getting in foul trouble, finding other ways to be effective other than scoring, and being down late in games and still coming out with the win. I think I showed a lot of people the level I’m capable of playing at and that they should tune in for the next couple of years. The most important thing is as a team we won a lot and had fun doing it.

DGS: How did it feel to hit the game-winner against Watchung Hills to win State Sectional?

JP: It felt great to hit the shot in that moment but it just shows how hard work pays off because I work on pull up jumpers a lot.

DGS: What does it mean to you to see coach Colicchio get his 500th career win?

JP: Seeing coach get his 500th win was a great feeling and really historic. I wish that it wasn’t in an empty gym and all of his family and supporters could’ve been there for him.

DGS: What was your reaction to hearing the season was canceled due to the Coronavirus?

JP: When I heard that the season was canceled, it hurt a lot because my teammates and I worked so hard to become Group 4 State Champs and we got to the last game and it was just gone like that.

DGS: What are your goals for next season?

JP: For next season I want to win states, improve overall as a player, and join the 1000 point club.

DGS: Which colleges have offered you and shown interest?

JP: As of now I have offers from Robert Morris, Florida, and Rutgers. Some schools that have shown interest are Rhode Island and Seton Hall.

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Daniel is a college student pursuing a career in sports media. He currently is a staff writer for Double G Sports. You can hear him interviewing guests in sports and entertainment weekly on the Dansportsnews and Friends Podcast.
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