Posted On: 02/5/20 5:31 PM

Leadership is difficult. Most players want to be a leader, but there are so many layers to being a leader and just being a good teammate in general. I have been to hundreds of games this year alone from high school boys and girls to club tourneys during the Spring and Summer on the boys and girls side as well. As evaluoators we often talk about size, shooting, ball handling, footwork, defense and rebounding. One of the most overlooked aspects of evaluation is a player’s ability to be a leader and good teammate. One respected individual in the grassroots scene once told me, “You can’t put an individual statistic or number on it” when referring to someone’s leadership. This is the case for Mt. Spokane High School’s Jayda Noble who is committed to the University of Washington.

I decided to take a deeper look into the mind of the player that has exemplified leadership on her way to a 15u National Title (MVP), multiple time adidas All-American selections, adidas USA roster slot, 3A State 2nd place finish, 17u adidas Gauntlet 2nd place finish and an MVP worthy season in the Greater Spokane League.

Interview:

1) Do you feel like you were born a leader or developed into one? 

“Definitely feel like I was developed into one, I’m a totally different player than I was last year and the year before, and a different person. I do whatever my team needs me to do and this year leadership was needed with Emma, so I had to step it up in practices and in games to make sure we were playing to our full potential, while having fun at the same time.”

2) How would you define leadership in a basketball context?

“Being a leader in a basketball setting is not someone who tells you what to do and is just bossing everyone around. Basketball’s a team sport, you can’t just think about yourself . Being the leader on a team means you should be the person setting the example and showing everyone instead of just telling them. It’s all about hustle for me, you could be having one of the worst offensive games of your life, but as a leader you should be the first person diving for loose balls, going after every rebound and playing hard defense the whole game.”

3) What does a good teammate look like in your eyes?

“A good teammate to me is someone who puts the team first. Whether that’s showing up to practice on time, pushing everyone to get better, working on their game outside of school ball, or doing anything to get better. But also having fun and enjoying these moments with the team. If you love your team, by getting along with them and love this sport, then you’re the best teammate I could ask for.”

4) How do you balance getting on teammates at times and then taking on a more encouraging role?

“This is a really good question oh man. Definitely depends on the situation but you always want consistency. In practice it never matters who we are playing next, I make sure we’re going 110% and if we’re not I pull everyone together and remind them to pick up the intensity. It’s the mindset of knowing that I know what my team is capable of so why would we settle for anything less? Whenever we play someone we make sure to play to our level, a state level team, and to never play down. When someone’s head goes down, I’m the first person to pick them up. No one on my team needs to be babied or reminded of how good they are. They just need a “hey forget about it, next ones going in” because we both know that they’re better than that. On the bench, we’re honestly one of the loudest teams in the state. That comes along with loving your team so much that you go crazy to see them succeed. The balance is always making sure your team is focused and prepared but finding ways to make it enjoyable and put smiles on their faces.”

5) What advice would you give a younger girl trying to be a leader and great teammate?

“The biggest thing you can control is yourself. I’m still learning what that actually means to this day [laughs]. Took me 4 years to not just process it, but start to fully put that into effect. It doesn’t matter what’s happening with the refs, with your coaches, with anything outside of basketball. All that matters is your attitude, because you have a bigger Impact on things than you think. Your entire vibe can bring down a practice. Your words can either make or break someone so be thoughtful of how you say them. You will be successful if your team loves each other regardless of records or number of wins. If you’re enjoying what you do and making everyone around you better, then you’re winning. Be a leader, friend, teammate and a sister all wrapped into one. You wanna be the teammate that’s remembered for being positive and always having a good impact of the team.”