Now a veteran on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, Jayla Everett continues to embrace the challenge of going toe to toe with the best high school players in the country.
That win was in part to Everett, who showcased her 3-point shooting ability throughout the game. One of her second-half long balls sparked a mini, but valuable, run for the Phenom to gain a two-possession lead in the back and forth contest.
It’s no surprise that Everett calls shooting the strength of her game, as she said she works on it 24/7 practically. But there’s plenty more the 2018 recruit is working on for her last season on the EYBL circuit.
“I’m really trying to improve on playing at a faster pace and learn how to be a team leader and pick my team up,” said Everett, who added that her basketball IQ, court awareness and energy are more strengths in her crafty game.
While plenty of EYBL players have made their commitments long before their summer seasons began, the guard from St. Louis is in no hurry to decide on her future endeavors.
Everett said schools such as Ohio State, Mississippi, Houston, Texas Tech and Florida are interested in her services, but she doesn’t plan on making her decision until October.
It only pushes Everett to play even harder when commits to Power-5 conference schools are matched up against her.
“I feel like my recruitment process is small because I want to take my time with it and enjoy the whole experience. I don’t want to rush it at all,” she said. “I feel like on the court, it’s just you and me. Show me why you’re better or why you’re ranked higher and have all the offers.”
Oftentimes during her high school season with Kirkwood, Missouri, Everett showed why she is better. She averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season to lift the Pioneers to a Class 5 championship — being named to the All-St. Louis Metro Second Team and First Team All-Class 5 in the process.
And that scoring mentality was shown mightily in last season’s Class 5 state championship, as she scored a game-high 24 points in the title game victory.
She credited her support staff and the people around her for her high school success. With the Missouri Phenom, it’s all about proving herself and fine-tuning her game before her final high school season.
“I love going up against the best because I know it makes me better and I know I can go up against them,” she said.
Following the Phenom’s win on Thursday morning, they’re now 4-3 on the EYBL circuit. The top 24 teams among the 32 Nike-sponsored teams will advance to the Nike Nationals Tournament to conclude the summer.
Everett had a team-high 11 points with three 3-pointers on Thursday morning and is now averaging 7.8 points per game in six contests this year for the balanced Phenom squad.
“Coach Reggie (Middlebrook) pushes me to be better and helps me get all these looks in and getting my name out there,” said Everett, who is in her fourth year with the Phenom.
Be sure to lookout for this young talent!
By Mike Stunson