Jaden Springer Shares Key Developmental Moments From His Young Career
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Jaden Springer is a professional basketball player with the Philadelphia 76ers, drafted in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft. Springer, a North Carolina native, finished his prep career with IMG Academy and played one year of college basketball for the University of Tennessee in the 2020-21 season. With the Volunteers, Springer averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, earning Southeastern Conference (SEC) All-Freshman Team honors. We spoke to Jaden about the key developmental experiences he had that built the player he became and is becoming.
SportsEdTV: Thank you for joining me. My name is Jaki. I'm the basketball and content manager for SportsEdTV. Why don't you just start off and tell us a little bit about yourself… and obviously congratulations on being drafted?
Jaden Springer: Thank you. I’m Jaden Springer, I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and started playing basketball around eight, and then it really just took off and it just kept working every day to get to this point I'm at now.
SportsEdTV: So I guess the first thing I wanted to talk to you about is just a quick Recap of Summer League now that you've had a few weeks to let it sit and you can reflect on it, what was that experience like and walk us through like the day to day in that atmosphere?
Jaden Springer: It was fun. That's my first first taste in NBA basketball. So being able to get up and down and get a feel for that was pretty good for me in the day to day. It wasn't too bad, really. We just had a practice. And then after in the morning afternoon kind of two hour practice kind of scrimmage, get to know the players like that came pretty fast. But when you learned all these players, how to put them in there like a few days? Yeah. So that was probably the biggest adjustment right there, just learning all the plays and all the reads in a short period of time. But other than that, we really it seemed like we had a lot more free time than in college or something like that.
SportsEdTV: That's interesting to hear. How was that mental adjustment and how did college prepared you for thinking on the fly like that.
Jaden Springer: Well, I feel like for me, I feel like I transition just to pretty well because my colleagues at Tennessee, we worked, we worked pretty hard. I could say like practice, film, everything. So I feel like that prepared me to transition to this next level. Pretty good.
SportsEdTV: Yeah, absolutely. Cool. So yeah, I just wanted to talk about a quick, quick summer recap. So. But that's awesome. So we're going to revert to a little bit of your youth times, but you played a youth ball in several circuits. I just wanted to talk, and learn about your favorite coach and what kind of person he was, what characteristics he had on the court, off the court. What was your most memorable coach and do you feel that you learned from them.
Jaden Springer: Well. Well, I really just say one coach in particular. But since I was a little kid I had a bunch of coaches and every coach I had, I would probably say I built a relationship with for the most part, even at one point when I first started playing, my dad was my coach. So in person, I probably say, though I could say, Bobby Mays. I met him when I was a freshman in high school. And so then I've been with him ever since, and to just this day I reach out.
SportsEdTV: So how do you feel like he's impacted your game?
Jaden Springer: Well, he's always been there. Like for me, whenever I want to get in the gym, if I say I need to get in gym, he got make sure we get in the gym and go work out or something like that. So whenever I need something, I know he got my back.
SportsEdTV: That's huge. That's huge. Gym time is huge. Yeah. So outside of AAU, what would you say is the most memorable or challenging or most effective camp or event that you might have attended? Maybe some camp that put you on the map or where you first felt elite, if you will.
Jaden Springer: That's tough. I have been to a lot. Yeah, I'd probably say like the ones I used to go to like during the summer. That was my favorite time because it used to be basketball camp after basketball camp, so I didn't been the biggest, the biggest ones for me. I probably say Antoine Jamison. He used to have a camp. And then the Muggsy Bogues Camp.
SportsEdTV: What was the Muggsy Bogues camp like?
Jaden Springer: Well, really, it's like a week of just playing basketball. Like a team, it leads up to a tournament like every year. I used to win MVP and win a championship every single year. And then I kind of built a relationship with Muggsy Bogues after that, too. He worked me out a couple of times, training with me after the camp and stuff as I still got older.
SportsEdTV: That's awesome. I'm sure you were a camp champ. As a guard, I'm curious on your favorite aspect of the game. Just looking at your performance over the last year, just in college with all of the tracking and everything you know, you get your hands in a lot, you're dishing off passes, you're getting to the line. You're obviously scoring. You're playing defense. I'd say maybe outside of hitting that shot because everyone loves that. What is your favorite aspect of the game? What gets you really fired up?
Jaden Springer: Really, really just being able to compete, like the competitiveness of the game. So just playing and winning that drives me, that gets me going. Give me full fill up.
SportsEdTV: I feel you. I feel you. So playing off of that as a guard, you know, the coaches really look at you as kind of like a second coach on the floor and you've got to be really in tune and have a high IQ. You’ve played on several teams by this point, obviously in camps and for AAU teams and then high school, what do you look for in your teammates? What characteristics do you want them to have? What have you found elevates you as a player and vice versa?
Jaden Springer: You have to have teammates who really want to work like guys who go get in the gym after practice on their own and stuff like that, guys who're going to listen and even guys who are going to hold you accountable even when you're not at your best. You want somebody to hold you accountable the same way you would do them. So somebody who's not just going to just let you do it even if it's tough. Tell you what it is for what it is.
SportsEdTV: On the court, are you big on communication? You know, that sort of stuff, have you come across any learning curves with that? You know, from miscommunication with players or players who don't have that knowledge that you might have learned it from your coaches?
Jaden Springer: But really, communication is the biggest thing as you go up in basketball. You can't win if you don't communicate, every team has to be on the same page the whole time, every, every, every second in the game. So I probably say communication, biggest thing for me. That's something I learned when I was in college, so I'll be up there and that's all you got to do.
SportsEdTV: Yeah, I feel that. So, let's look forward. You've been the player that you've been up until this day and obviously everyone around you is trying to make you into that player that you'll be tomorrow. What does that look like for you? What type of player do you think you're going to evolve into, whether that be physically -- obviously, you're not done growing physically -- it could be on the court. What do you see for you in your future? Like, what are you? What are you working on? What are the aspects of your game and how far do you think you can improve without actually even knowing how far that is?
Jaden Springer: Yeah. Well, for me, I feel like I got a lot I'm working on right now, working on my whole game, everything, just being an all around, being trying to be the best player in every aspect I can be. So I feel like I don't know how good I can be. I feel I can be pretty good as long as I just keep working and just just stay locked in there.
SportsEdTV: Any, any specific spot of your game that you might feel like it needs the most improvement.
Jaden Springer: I really feel like my shot could do a lot better, especially in the league. I just got off faster with everything with the speed and pace of the game. So really just getting that up.
SportsEdTV: What kind of impact having your dad in the league as well having just coming up in a basketball family? What kind of impact did he play? Did he have on you and how do you feel your game compares to him?
Jaden Springer: Oh, really? I feel like having a basketball family and people that have been there. I feel like it helps you the most when you're a kid, like they can teach you the basics, they can teach you the fundamentals. So growing up, you got a good foundation to build off of because you're older, you still got to learn and see the game for yourself. But at a young age, if they install the right stuff in you, it's just kind of like a cheat code, really.
SportsEdTV: Yeah, that makes sense. He's like, I'm sure you're like sitting there with your little tykes hoop and he's like showing you some game film on the TV. It's like, check out my back door fake flicks. What are your plans for the future? What's your mindset like now that you're now that you're a pro?
Jaden Springer: My mindset hasn't changed at all, really. I have the same mindset. I just want to keep getting better, keep growing and just keep learning because on this level here, some of the best ever, I'm going to be playing again. So be able to just learn and watch everybody. That's something I'm really looking forward
SportsEdTV: Who, most specifically, are you looking forward to learning under?
Jaden Springer: All the vets on my team, I got some great guys on my team. I got guys like Ben Simmons, Embiid, Tobias Harris, and the list just keeps going. So guys like that being able to learn from them NBA vets.