Jaylon Hall is a wanted man. And he’s thrilled about it.
A 6-foot-5 guard from Doss High School in Louisville, Hall said the attention he received from the Wright State coaching staff played a key role in him signing a National Letter of Intent to play for the Raiders.
“I wanted to go somewhere where the coaching staff really wanted me, somewhere where I was the first decision, not where I was the second choice or be somebody where down the line they wouldn’t need,” Hall said. “And I wanted to go somewhere we can build something. We’ve got some young guys and we can build something with the team we’re going to have next year.”
Hall said he struck up an immediate friendship with WSU players Loudon Love and Everett Winchester, a pair of freshmen who redshirted last season, when he visited the campus and scrimmaged with the team in November. And they’ve stayed in touch since, with Hall making the short trip to Highland Heights, Ky., to watch WSU play Northern Kentucky in February.
While most schools who contacted him showed only tepid interest, Hall said Wright State and Youngstown State were the two that recruited him heavily. And he made the decision Wednesday to sign with the Raiders.
Born and raised in Houston, Hall moved to Louisville prior to his freshman year and lived with his uncle and high school coach Tony Williams while his father LaJuan, stepmom Anna and biological mom Lisa Decuir-Hall remained in Texas.
“Really it feels like I’m already in college being away from home,” Hall said.
He’ll officially enroll in June when he begins taking summer classes.
Hall averaged 19 points, 4.0 rebounds., 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals for the Dragons as a senior. He topped the 1,000-point mark this year, was named the Region 6 Player of the Year and was a candidate for the Mr. Basketball award.
Asked to describe his game, Hall gave a complete scouting report.
“I’m versatile. I can do everything,” he said. “I’m a two-way guard. I play defense. I take pride in my defense. I can score the ball. I can pass the ball. I can do anything you need. I can rebound. People sleep on my athleticism, but I’m a smooth guard.”
In addition to taking pride in his defense, Hall said he’s also been focusing on rebounding at the urging of his father.
“Ever since I was a sophomore my dad was always telling me to go rebound,” he said. “Since I’ve put that effort into rebounding, I’ve seen my game go to a different level. I realized that rebounding has to be part of my game.
“It’s hard to stop a team when the point guard can rebound the ball,” Hall continued. “You don’t need an outlet pass. You just push. That’s why my high school team was really successful, because with me pushing the ball, there’s not too many guys in the state that can stay in front of me, and on top of that are big enough to guard me.”
Hall will join Kings High School guard Tyler Mitchell and guard Cole Gentry, who transferred from South Dakota State, as newcomers to the squad this fall.
“I’d just like to thank God and my parents and all the people that’s helped me so far get to this point,” Hall said. “I never really thought I’d be playing Division I basketball.”