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Jaydon Semeli makes the leap into Granger’s variety basketball team

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SHOOTING hoops isn’t as simple as it may seem. Athletes have to make split second decisions, they have to figure out what’s around them, see where their teammates are, and decide whether to pass the ball or attempt a shot.

To make the basketball team in general is hard, to make the varsity team as a sophomore is even harder. But for Jaydon Semeli (10), it seemed to be no problem for him as basketball is one of his main hobbies. He also follows the NBA and the players as many young athletes do.

“My favorite basketball team is the Washington Wizards. My favorite player is John Wall, he is an all-around player, he can dunk, shoot, and has high IQ,” Semeli said.

A sport or an activity can be easy for some people especially, when they start at such a young age. “I played since I was 3 years old, it’s easy. I play with my brother and cousin, it’s fun. At 7 years old, I joined the Junior Jazz,” Semeli said.

The off-season is the time to prepare for the regular season. It’s the time to work on technique, prepare physically and mentally, and work on rhythm and footwork. Semeli takes full advantage of the offseason in order to prepare himself to have a great season.

“My dad takes us to VASA, we wake up at 5 A.M., we workout legs and arms, we shoot 100 shots, we go home, eat, and then go back,” Semeli said.

For many athletes, idoling their game like another professional athlete is common. For example football players such as running backs want to play the game like first-team, all-pro, two-time, pro-bowler running back Le’veon Bell. Soccer players may want to play like soccer living legend Cristiano Ronaldo. Even baseball pitchers may want to be like seven-time all-star and MVP Clayton Kershaw.

“I idol my game like Kyrie Irving, because he can cross people up and make layups,” Semeli said. It takes hard work and determination to become an NBA finals champion superstar like Kyrie Irving himself, but it seems like Semeli has the drive and will to become a superstar himself on the basketball court just like his decorated idol.

Semeli’s hard work and dedication can be seen by his teammates as well. “He does his best, he’s a hard worker,” Fayad Batal (12) said. Certain personality characteristics are also a big reason Semeli stands out. “He’s humble, likes to play around, and he’s childish, loud, and talkative,” Batal said.

Having a father as a motivation is a big thing. He is a person that has been there through it all, he is the person to look up to when in need. This seems to be the case for Semeli and his father.

“My dad is my motivator because he works until night time, wakes up to workout with us, and goes back to work—he is always busy,” Semeli said.

As an athlete, there is always that one game that to really look forward to playing. Reasons can be from rivalry to just tough competition. For Semeli, there is one game he has in mind that he can’t wait to play.

“My expectation is to go undefeated and make the playoffs, because we have bench players that can play, we have no weaknesses, and if you’re tired, you don’t need to worry—we have good bench players,” Semeli said. Confidence is key as an athlete, and it is the reason Semeli has high expectations for the Granger Lancers Basketball team.  

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Jaydon Semeli makes the leap into Granger’s variety basketball team